War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0124 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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retreating toward Baltimore. A part of Ricketts' division are covering the retreat. Hunter, on the 9th, reports himself at Cumberland, and says his advance division was then on Cherry Run. He is moving forward as rapidly as possible. Sherman has effected lodgments across the Chattahoochee at two points, viz, near the mouth of Soap Creek and at Roswell. He will make these points secure before crossing his main army.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, VA., July 10, 1864-11.40 p.m.

Major-General MEADE,

Commanding, &c.:

Not receiving any reply from General Lee to communications sent on the 8th, I began to believe it possible that he may have gone on the Maryland campaign, taking with him considerable re-enforcements from the army in your front. I think it advisable to make a reconnaissance around toward the Weldon road, pushing out skirmishers to make the enemy develop himself, and to ascertain if this be the fact. Sheridan might get up 3,000 of his best cavalry to move with such a reconnaissance. The object would be solely to ascertain if the enemy still occupies his position in full force, and if this can be ascertained without going to the Weldon road, either by swinging around a heavy line of skirmishers from Hancock's front to drive in the enemy's advance pickets and make him develop behind his works, or if it is certainly known by deserters who have come in within the last twenty-four hours that no movement has taken place it will be satisfactory.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 10, 1864-12 midnight.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

GENERAL: No movements have been reported by deserters; on the contrary, they all agree in stating Hill's, Longstreet's, and Beauregard's forces to be in our front. A negro woman came in to-night, who lives near the Weldon railroad, who says she heard the soldiers say that yesterday General Lee made it known he would grant a thirty-days' furlough to any soldier who would capture a Yankee soldier. I think this plausible, as he undoubtedly desires to know what detachments, if any, you are making. Last night the Sixth Corps when leaving made a great deal of noise, beating marches, blowing calls, and making bon-fires of their camps. This attracted the attention of the enemy, and this morning at daylight they advanced on a portion of the Second Corps pickets, crying out "The Yankees are gone." Our pickets received them with a brisk fire, driving them back, when all was quieted, and has remained so during the day. The reconnaissance you suggest can be made. I see no advantage in swinging round the left of the enemy in his works, but the corps, with the cavalry, can be sent on the Weldon road, which will, I have no doubt, develop a force of the enemy, and perhaps bring some out of the Petersburg lines; will it take to-morrow, however, to get the cavalry up here.