War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0294 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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understood they had three. The part of the lines occupied by Evans' brigade is where they approach the nearest to ours, and where firing has taken place every evening of late. It was understood that General Early had closely invested Washington and that re-enforcements were to be sent him. Informants think that none have yet been sent, nor can they imagine where they can be taken from. Their officers say not a man can be spared from here. They had not heard from Early lately. Did not know of his retreat. It was generally understood that the object of Early's movement was to compel us to send enough of our force away to enable them to open and defend the Weldon railroad. The men are getting weary of life in the trenches, and are complaining considerably of late.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNumbers C. BABCOCK.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

OFFICE OF PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL, July 17, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: A deserter just in from A. P. Hill's corps reports that Longstreet's corps intend to assault our works to-night. Will forward the entire statement soon.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. C. BABCOCK.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

OFFICE OF PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL, July 17, 1864.

Major General A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff;

GENERAL: Two deserters from the Sixty-fourth Georgia, Wright's brigade, of Mahone's division (A. P. Hill), came into our lines this p.m. about 3 o'clock. They bring the following information:Their brigade (Wright's) is on the extreme left of Mahone's division, Hill's corps, and joins Law's brigade, the extreme right of Longstreet's corps; that they have been preparing five days' rations in Field's division, of Longstreet's corps, ready for an immediate move; that a private in the Forty-fourth Alabama, of Law's brigade, Field's division, told informant that Longstreet's corps would assault our works to-night; that he heard this from his officers; that they had been clearing away the undergrowth in front of their lines in a ravine so they could mass their troops. The men are both intelligent, and their statements in the main corroborate those made by the other five from the same regiment that came in this a.m.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNumbers C. BABCOCK.

HEADQUARTERS U. S. ENGINEER BATTALION, July 17, 1864.

Major J. C. DUANE,

Chief Engineer:

MAJOR:The following is a report of the engineer operations under my direction during the past twenty-four hours: On the left Captain Harwood reports work continued on the redoubt in making a magazine and completing the gorge. The remainder of his force is engaged in