War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0420 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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FORT POWHATAN, August 23, 1864-2.15 p.m.

Major-General MEADE:

I think with you it would be imprudent to send General Miles with his small force beyond the support of the main army to destroy the railroad. If we can hold our present position until the roads get in good order, Ord can be sent with the Eighteenth Corps and cavalry to complete the work if possible as far as Hicksford, at least so far as to inconvenience the enemy in hauling around the break, and so that it would take considerable time to repair it.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

Widow Smith's House, August 23, 1864-6 p.m.

General GRANT:

I have examined the line from the Strong house to Warren's right. It can be held securely by two divisions of the Ninth Corps, leaving two divisions in reserve. Warren can hold his line securely with three divisions, leaving him one in reserve. Under these circumstances, as Miles has had a skirmish with the enemy's cavalry, and from prisoners learned that a division of cavalry was in his front, I have ordered Gibbon down to Reams' Station and sent Hancock down to take charge of the two divisions of infantry and the railroad as far as practicable.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT,

August 23, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: A deserter from Forty-fourth North Carolina, Kirkland's brigade, Heth's division, who just arrived here, reports that he left his picket-line last night; that he was on picket on the Weldon railroad a short distance below the lead-works. He states that on Sunday night last his brigade marched back from Fifth Corps front to a position between the lead-works and Petersburg. He states that the are lying on the railroad near the city, and he thinks that all of Heth's division is in that vicinity.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. McENTEE,

Captain, &c.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT,

August 23, 1864

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: A deserter from Finegan's (Florida) brigade, who came in this morning, states that his brigade left the Weldon railroad on Sunday night and marched back to their old position in the trenches. He