War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0094 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

Search Civil War Official Records

enemy opened his batteries all along our front, and kept up a cannonading for some half hour. In front of the Ninth Corps there was some musketry, but not of any great extent, the enemy firing from his breast-works. The object of this demonstration is unknown. Possibly an assault may have been designed, but abandoned at the last moment. About the same time, or a little later, a force of the enemy, estimated at two regiments of infantry, a battery of artillery, and a couple of squadrons of cavalry, were seen to pass out of the enemy's works and move down the Halifax road. A deserter came in last night who left Weldon yesterday morning. He reports the road nearly repaired, there being only a small break at Reams' Station, around which passengers have to walk. He states the enemy have but small forces at Weldon, Goldsborough, and Raleigh; no depot at Stony Creek, though he heard supplies had been forwarded to that point and wagoned from thence to Petersburg. He reports Hampton's cavalry at Stony Creek and guarding the road from thence to Reams' Station; saw no infantry as far as he went, viz, Reams' Station. When the passengers got out here to walk he took to the woods and came into our lines.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General, Commanding.

CITY POINT, VA., July 9, 1864.

Major-General MEADE,

Commanding, &c.:

I have just received a dispatch from General Canby of the 2nd instant. He will send 20,000 men. The first division, 6,000 strong, he thought would reach Fort Monroe by the 8th or 10th instant, and the remainder would follow as fast as transportation could be provided. Under the circumstances I think it may be as well to defer the raid ordered yesterday until these troops arrive, when we will make a combined movement of infantry and cavalry that will enable the latter to get off in good order and remain absent until they have perfected the work of destruction on the roads south.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 9, 1864-11 a. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

I saw Colonel Comstock last evening when your telegram was received. Your orders in relation to making regular approaches and sending the Second Corps and cavalry to destroy the Weldon railroad shall be executed as promptly as possible. Some little delay will be necessary to enable me to complete the line of redoubts which are necessary to protect the left flank of the army after the departure of the Second Corps. This delay will, however, be advantageous, because the cavalry are not yet in condition for very active service. In reply to an inquiry when he would be ready General Sheridan telegraphs: "My command is recruiting rapidly, but it is not fit for hard work yet; if required for active service at once I can turn out about 9,000 men." Every day's delay will strengthen Sheridan. The engineers say the redoubts will be ready by the 12th. This will enable Hancock and