War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0568 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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

City Point, August 29, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS, Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: Our men failed in reaching our agent night before last, being driven back by the enemy's scouts. They met him, however, last night, he having left Richmond on Saturday evening. He says that he knows of no military movements, as none have taken place through Richmond in any direction. Two trains a day are run on the Virginia Central Railroad, and they go certainly as far as Gordonsville, as the agent himself lately bought a ticket to that point for a woman of his acquaintance. No supplies are being sent to General Early whatever. It is understood that Early must subsist himself or starve. Everything has been called in from the country easterly of Richmond, and the agent is quite certain that there are now but three picket-posts from Bottom's Brigade to Richmond, with two men on each post. He says that last night it was understood that twenty men belonging to the torpedo corps were to be sent down to join with fifteen scouts, under Lieutenant Tolman, to put torpedoes in the James River below this point. They had been waiting for a favorable night for some time. He knows that the twenty men came from Richmond on Saturday, and he thinks that the work was done last night. He thought that the torpedoes would be put in the river near Kimmage's, but our scouts told him that last night they happened to land near Kimmage's. He then said that there had been but two other points spoken of, one of which was Harrison's and the other the mouth of Herring Creek. This is all the information we have on that subject. Our agent brought through with him night before last a Mr. Makewater, engineer on the rebel steamer Beaufort, and a week from now he will bring the chief engineer of the rebel gun-boat Fredericksburg. It will be necessary to keep a lookout for these people, as after having effected their escape they are not desirous, on account of their families and friends, of giving information which will afterward appear in the papers, and consequently conceal their former occupation. I believe that Makewater was received yesterday by the provost-marshal at General Butler's headquarters. I inclose herewith Saturday's Richmond paper, being the only one brought. One of my lines is running very well now, and if the commanding general desires any specific information I should be glad to have my attention directed to it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEORGE H. SHARPE,

Colonel, & c.

CITY POINT, August 29, 1864.

Captain MCENTEE:

General Grant has a dispatch from Washington to-day noon, brought by our people from Mine Run, indicating that troops from the Valley are on their way back to Richmond. Details not yet received, but expected by other scouts Wednesday. General Edward Johnson gone to Atlanta. Rumored also that Beauregard had gone to Atlanta with some of the troops from the Valley. Information received here to-day shows only that Bushrod Johnson's and Hoke's divisions are in position in front of the Tenth Corps. Three refugees from Richmond bring nothing different from report to General Humphreys this morning.

SHARPE,

Colonel.