HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, THIRD DIV., CAVALRY CORPS, Near Williams' House, Jerusalem Plank Road, July 22, 1864-8 a. m.
Major General A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: Nothing of importance has occurred along my line since last report. The enemy undoubtedly picket in front of my right nearly as far as Doctor Gurley's with infantry, and along my right as far as the enemy's line can be seen it appears to be quite strong. No disposition is manifested by the enemy to disturb our line. In compliance with instructions of yesterday, I have ordered patrols to or toward Prince George Court-House, on the road from that point to Lee's Mill, until they shall find the pickets of force stationed at the Court-House. The Prince George Court-House road, as I understand it from your communication of yesterday and the instructions handed over to me by Colonel Devin, is the road from the Court-House to Lee's Mill. I know of no other I can patrol to without going to the Court-House.
I send you a man calling himself John Williams, who came into our lines this morning. He claims to belong to the First New York Veteran Cavalry, and to be an escaped prisoner of war; to have enlisted in rebel service in order to facilitate his escape to our army; that he was assigned to the Sixty-first Virginia Infantry. I also forward a contraband who came in this morning. Some information may be elicited from him touching the whereabouts of the cavalry or a portion of it. I find in our lines two women, Mrs. Danforth and Mrs. Baxter, who say they [reside] just outside and were passed in by a captain in the Ninth New York Cavalry (whose name they were informed was Snyder) on the 15th. They are very desirous to get home. I do not think they would damage us any by any information they could give the enemy, even if they were so disposed. As at present situated it is with much difficulty they can get sufficient to subsist upon. I would respectfully ask what disposition should be made of them.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. CHAPMAN,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 22, 1864.
Colonel GEORGE H. CHAPMAN,
Commanding Cavalry Brigade:
Respecting the two women, Mrs. Danforth and Mrs. Baxter, the commanding general directs me to say that you may allow them to return to their homes upon their taking an oath not to reveal anything they have seen or heard since they have been inside of or lines; or, if their houses are so situated that you can place upon them that will be secure against capture, and at the same time prevent any communication with the enemy, the commanding general will authorize your sending them home with such guards, and without any oath, if you think them indisposed to communicate information to the enemy.
A. A. HUMPHREYS.