War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0656 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT,

September 2, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following as the result of examination of prisoners and deserters who came in this morning and last night. The two deserters from Seventh Georgia Cavalry report that Young's brigade of cavalry is lying about five miles west of Weldon railroad, on the Dinwiddie road. The Seventh Georgia, now attached to Young's brigade, came out in June last, and when it arrived here numbered 1,000 men. It now numbers 400, twenty-five of whom are mounted. The Twentieth Georgia Battalion has been attached to Jeff. Davis Legion, and Fourth Alabama Battalion to Phillips' Legion. The brigade, they think, numbers about 1,500 men, about two-thirds mounted. Deserters from Mahone's and Sanders' brigades report no changes in that division. W. H. Dugan, deserter from Twenty-first South Carolina, just came from Weldon, where he had been on furlough. He reports that Hagood's brigade came here from Charleston in May last, 3,700 strong, and that he was told by the colonel of the Twenty-seventh South Carolina, whom he met a few days ago at Weldon, that the brigade, counting sick and wounded, would not number 800 men. A deserter from Lucas' battalion heavy artillery, stationed at Charleston, makes the following statement regarding troops about Charleston, &c.: Lucas' battalion, 200 men, stationed on James Island; five companies heavy artillery, 500 men, and First Regiment South Carolina Infantry, 700 men, stationed on Sulliivan's Island; Blke's light battery, 100 men; Thirty-second Georgia Regiment, 700 men, and Second South Carolina Heavy Artillery, 800 men, stationed at Mount Pleasant. This, he states, is a large estimate of troops in that vicinity. He states that some time ago, when a demonstration was made on Secessionville, that all the troops were taken from Sullivan's Island (save three companies), and that the latter place could have been taken with one regiment. He also states that Fort Sumter can never by taken by firing upon it; that the only way to take it is to starve out the garrison, and that can only be done by keeping up a steady fire during the night. The garrison have very little supplies at a time. Provosions are taken to them in boats every night, and by preventing that the fort would soon be compelled to surrender. All of the above-mentioned men state that cars run on Weldon railroad as far as Stony Creek, and that the enemy are carting supplies from that point to Petersburg via Dinwiddie Court-House.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. McENTEE,

Captain.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

September 2, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I have seen the man from the Twenty-first South Carolina the second time, and from what he says I think there is no inconsistency in his statement. He was a sergeant in his company, and had been offered a position as lieutenant, but declined it. He was intimately