War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0564 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

August 29, 1864 - 11.45 a. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

I have nothing of importance to report this morning. The 13-inch mortar has been placed in battery on the right of the Tenth Corps front, and from time to time throws shell at the railroad depot in Petersburg. The difficulty of supplying the troops on the Weldon railroad, and the advantage of greater facility in moving troops from left to right of our extended line, has caused my attention to be called to the expediency of extending the City Point railroad to the Weldon railroad in rear of our lines. A survey by the engineers proves the scheme quite feasible, and there is ample material in the shape of rails and ties on the Norfolk road. The labor, therefore, would consist in the transportation of this material, the grading and laying of the track. The engineers estimate it would require a month to complete the work, but I am of the opinion, by placing a large force on it, it could be done in a shorter time. The question of its expediency is greatly dependent on the proposed future operations, and is therefore submitted to you for judgment. If it is contemplated the army will remain in its present position for any considerable time over the period, three weeks, required to construct the road, I think it would pay, as unless this is done we shall have to build, at least, two corduroy roads between the plank road and Weldon railroad. Report from signal officer just in indicates a movement of the enemy's infantry from their right to left. Troops are seen passing in that direction this morning.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

CITY POINT, VA., August 29, 1864.

Major-General MEADE:

I will direct work to be commenced on the railroad extension at once. I do not want to give up the Weldon road, if it can be avoided, until we get Richmond. That may be months yet. To facilitate operations, wagons returning from near the Norfolk road and from the Weldon road should throw in a light load of rails and bring them to the present depot. No rails should be brought from the Norfolk road east of where the proposed road will intersect it, unless the engineers deem it expedient to haul in wagons all the rails that will be required. When the road is finished to that point, a train of cars could be run down the road and used to bring up the rails. Again, if wagons were to be used exclusively in placing rails where they are wanted, four parties could work at once-one from the Weldon road north, two from the Norfolk road (one north, the other south), and one from the City Point road. The manner of doing the work will be submitted to the engineers.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, VA., August 29, 1864.

(Received 1 p. m.)

Major-General MEADE:

If Captain Michler can possibly be spared, direct him to report here for orders. I want an engineer officer to report to General Sheridan for duty.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.