War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0298 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 17, 1864-8 p.m.

Major-General WARREN,

Commanding Fifth Corps:

I am instructed to inform you that two deserters from Wright's brigade, of Mahone's division, Hill's corps, state that their brigade joins Longstreet's corps, and that they heard that Longstreet's corps would assault our works to-night; that they have been clearing away the undergrowth in the ravines so that they could mass their troops.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

(Same to General Burnside.)

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, July 17, 1864. (Received 9 p.m.)

Major-General HUMPHREYS:

A deserters has come in from Field's division, opposite my center, saying they design making an attack on me to-night with his division. He saw General Field himself. He deserted from the picket-line, to which place the general came with a colonel and discussed its practicability. He says it is the impression Johnston is gone if they cannot send troops to re-enforce him, and they must beat us back before they can do it. I have given directions to be prepared on my lines, and send you the man.

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, July 17, 1864. (Received 9.30 p.m.)

Major-General HUMPHREYS:

The deserter says the right of Field's division is at the plank road near the Chimneys, and connects there with Hill's corps. Field's division and two brigades of McLaws', he says, are on the line; they came here on the 8th instant, leaving Pickett's division at that time north of the Appomattox. Another deserter has just come in from the same regiment, Forty-fourth Alabama, giving the same report. He says they think of attacking about daybreak to-morrow. I have stopped the working details to enable the lines to be manned and ready.

Respectfully,

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, July 17, 1864-9.35 p.m.

General HUMPHREYS:

I fear the contemplated assault will not come off. My pickets can see into the ravine on my right, and part of General Burnside's is across it. The bright moonlight prevents their movement without our seeing them. They may be able to get the men in hidden places by small parties, and this is what the deserter said they proposed. I think we would pay off old scores if they attempt to assault.

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General.