War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0718 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

September 6, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS, Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: A deserter from Thirty-eighth North Carolina, Scales' brigade, who left his picket-post this a. m., reports no change in the enemy's position in that vicinity. He says there are 700 men in Scales' brigade. There are 200 men in his regiment. It is considered to be a large regiment, and is by far the largest regiment in the brigade. He knows nothing of Longstreet or Early, nor odes he know of any recent movement whatever.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. MCENTEE,

Captain, &c.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

September 6, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS, Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I have seen the escaped sailor the second time. He states that he followed the Danville road out to where it crosses the Appomattox (after leaving Belle Island), crossed the river at that point, and came down on the south bank until within twenty-four miles of Petersburg, when he took a southerly course and passed between Petersburg and Dinwiddie Court-House. He says he crossed the Vaughan road and the plank road, and on the north bank of the first stream he came to (on referring to the map says it was the Rowanty), quite near the Weldon railroad, he saw a large camp of troops; thinks they were infantry, as he saw no horses about. Three or four miles north of that point he also saw a camp, which a negro told him was General Butler's command. It was on Sunday last that he saw these troops. The enemy have had considerable dismounted cavalry in that vicinity, and he may have seen their camps. The informant seems much brighter this morning, and gives a clearer statement than he did yesterday; still he is much confused in regard to the road he came, as he traveled most of the way in the night, and in finding his way out was obliged to retrace his steps on the same road several times.

Respectfully,

J. MCENTEE,

Captain.

CITY POINT, September 6, 1864.

(Received 11.40 a. m.)

Lieutenant MANNING:

We have to believe that no one has been permitted to leave Richmond since Friday last. Citizens living toward the Chickahominy think that preparations are being made to evacuate Richmond. They judge so from the extreme precaution taken to prevent communication from the city to the adjoining counties of the Peninsula. The true reason probably is to conceal the passage of troops. Deserters at headquarters Army of the Potomac this morning report the return of Kershaw's division. They are not from that division, however.

SHARPE,

Colonel.

(Same to Captain McEntee.)