HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, August 16, 1864-12.30 p.m.
Commanding Cavalry Division:
GENERAL: One of your men, who was captured on picket near Mount Sinai or Mount Zion Church, on last Thursday night, states that he learned that a large number of the enemy's scouts and men were prowling about the rear of the army and among the camps of the trains, picking up information, stealing horses, &c.; the man's name is Wilcox, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry. He is on his way to your command. The commanding general desires that you send small patrolling parties to look after these men. General Patrick has been directed to send patrols for the same purpose.
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION, August 16, 1864-1.30 p.m.
Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: Your instructions concerning guerrillas and scouts, as reported by Private Wilcox, has been received. I would, however, respectfully suggest that the picket-line is so thin now that to detach men to look among the trains in rear would increase the facilities for the enemy to get through the picket-line. Private Wilcox is known here as a very unreliable man, subject to intoxication. The fact, however, that are numerous scouts and guerrillas of the enemy in rear of the army has been repeatedly reported through General Gregg. Whether any succeeded in getting through the line has not been discovered, but it would seem the best place to catch such parties, if I had any men to spare, to dispose them on the line and get them either going out or coming in. Numbers of captures are made every day and the prisoners sent in to the provost-marshal. Quite a number are caught going out. They are always in our uniform, and represent themselves as belonging to some regiment of our army, but may in reality belong to the enemy, which the provost-marshal alone can determine. No attacks on the pickets by scouts and bushwhackers took place last night. Two men were wounded last night, one of the First District of Columbia Cavalry, near Lee's Mill, and one of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, near Sycamore Church. These attacks are made by one or two men on individual pickets usually, and patrols and parties from the picket-line are constantly in pursuit of these character. It would to instruct all wagon-masters and other persons in charge of working parties, camps, &c., to arrest all parties hovering about them who do not belong to them, in order to be sent the provost-marshal to be identified.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
AUGUST V. KAUTZ,
16 R R-VOL XLII, PT II