HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, August 16, 1864-12 m.
The following just received from provost-marshal-general's department is forwarded:
We believe that two brigades, Wright's and Perrin's, of Mahone's division, moved from the enemy's extreme right day before yesterday at 2 p.m.; that the three remaining brigades of Mahone, with Heth's division and Beauregard's two division, are still in our front.
One of Kautz's men taken prisoner escaped from the enemy last night. He says he was on the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad between Petersburg and Swift Run when the two brigades of Mahone's division marched up and took the cars for a station near Drewry's Bluff.
GEO. G. MEADE,
CITY POINT, VA., August 16, 1864-6.30 p.m.
It seems from General Hancock's dispatches that a part of Hill's corps is north of the James. If the enemy reduce again to three divisions at Petersburg it will be advisable to move Warren on to the Weldon road at least, and farther if it should then appear advisable. The enemy would necessity have to keep a good part of Beauregard's force to confront the two corps that would still be left.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, August 16, 1864-7.45 p.m.
Until this p.m. there were no indications of movements. I reported this morning that deserters who came in last night said we had in our front three brigades of Mahone's division and all of Heth's division, both of Hill's corps, besides Beuaregard's forces. The two remaining brigades of Mahone, Wright and Perrin, they said, had been withdrawn and were in the rear. Hancock has taken prisoners from Wright, and I have no doubt Perrin is also in his front, but that is all of Hill that has left us as far as we know. Wilcox's division, of Hill's, is and has been there for some time. I send a report* from the signal station on the plank road, just received, which would seem to indicate a further movement, though it is very indefinite. If you think it advisable on this information to move Warren, I will give him orders to move at early daylight, or before, and to attack at the lead-works or where the Weldon railroad enters of success unless we get more definite information of the enemy having sent away more troops than we have now.
GEO. G. MEADE,
*See Fulton to Fisher, 7.20 p.m., p. 214.