War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0694 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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TREE STATION, July 31, 1864-10 a. m.

Captain FISHER,

Chief Signal Officer, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

An hour ago the enemy's signal officer reported "three large regiments of infantry passing on the road east of Jordan's house, coming from enemy's left center, and going toward City Point;" also "twenty wagons passing on road near Battery 5, going toward City Point." Captain Norton sends this a. m. that the enemy is returning his troops to-day to Petersburg by rail and road. I do not notice the usual activity this a. m. in the enemy's works at Farley's.


Captain, &c.

JULY 31, 1864-7.30 p. m.

Captain FISHER:

A line of smoke and dust has been rising all day above the trees from the Richmond and Petersburg turnpike. Enemy's signal officer reports this p. m. movement of one regiment of infantry from our front in Chesterfield going toward Bermuda Hundred, and seven regiments of infantry with eighty wagons moving from Bermuda Hundred toward Cobb's.


Captain, &c.



Numbers 204.

July 31, 1864.

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2. The commanding general having learned that, notwithstanding the stringent instructions given to telegraph operators upon the subject, telegraphic messages are taken off by operators at officers for which such messages are not intended, and their purport communicated to persons to whom they are not addressed, directs that hereafter any officer to whom a message so taken off shall be communicated, either wholly or in part, immediately report to these headquarters the name of the operator who has acquainted him with the tenor of such message, and any officer who receives such prohibited information, and who fails to make the report required, upon such neglect of duty being made known to the commanding general, will be promptly brought to trial upon the charge of disobedience of orders. Any telegraph operator who takes off, either wholly or in part, a message not intended for his office, will be placed in confinement and brought to trial for such disobedience of a positive order.

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5. The acting chief engineer of this army will make such a disposition of the lines of the Fifth and Ninth Corps as will enable them to be held by a diminished force. The commanders of the two corps will