War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0327 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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[Inclosure No. 1.]

HEADQUARTERS PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

August 20, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: A rebel deserter just sent in states that he left his regiment, Second Florida, Finegan's brigade, still occupying their old position at about 11 p. m. yesterday. Finegan's brigade, he thinks, is the only brigade of Mahone's division left in the trenches. He states that Sanders and Wright's brigades returned from north side of James River night before last; says he is well acquainted with members of Wright's brigade of the division had also returned. He thinks they marched down the railroad, as they did not take position in vicinity of Finegan's command.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. McENTEE.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, OFFICE OF PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL,

August 20, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS, Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: A deserter from the Forty-eighth North Carolina Regiment, Cooke's brigade, Heth's division, who left his picket-line last night and arrived here this morning, reports that his brigade was lying in the trenches when he saw it last (yesterday evening). the right of Cooke's brigade rests on the fort in front of old Chimney, and extends to within about 400 yards of the mine. Kirkland's brigade is on the right of Cooke's. Fry's (Walker's old), and Davis' brigades, he states, have gone down the railroad below lead-works. This man seems quite confident that the enemy are mining somewhere on Bearegard's line, as volunteer miners were called for, and several from his regiment were at work somewhere on the left of Heth's division.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. McENTEE,

Captain, &c.

CITY POINT, VA., August 20, 1864 - 1.10 p. m.

Major-General MEADE, Commanding, &c.:

I have ordered General Hancock to withdraw from the north side of the river to-night and move back to his old position. When there you can send him to the support of Warren with the other brigade of Gregg's cavalry. If the enemy comes out to attack, we will have the advantage of position. If they hold their lines only and persist in sending more troops to the Valley we can extend still farther. I am not so particular abut holding the Weldon road permanently as I am to destroy it effectually, and to force the enemy to attack us, with advantages on our side. Two hundred railroad men with Hancock were ordered yesterday to report to Warren. They must be near there now, and will destroy more railroad in a day than a division of troops.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.