War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0854 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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the best possible position to protect the depot. The officer in command of engineers will be directed to report to you for orders in the absence of General Benham. Have you any artillery? Reply immediately.

M. R. PATRICK,

Provost-Marshal-General.

HEADQUARTERS POST AND DEFENSES, City Point, Va., September 16, 1864.

Brigadier General M. R. PATRICK,

Provost-Marshal-General, Armies operating against Richmond:

GENERAL: I am just in the receipt of the following:

COLONEL: I have just men a private of the First District of Columbia Cavalry, who was captured. He says they had 4 killed and about 300 captured; they also got one herd, 2,600 cattle. One man reports that he saw two regiments of infantry and a battery of eight guns. The First District is terribly demoralized; one of their captains says he killed a brigadier-general. From what I can hear I think the rebels are about 5,000 strong, with eight guns. They all belong to Hampton's Legion. General Kautz and Gregg are after them. There are detachments of the Third Pennsylvania Troops and First District Cavalry between us and Sycamore Church. We are at the forks of the road leading to Light-House Point and Fort Powhatan. I will return at 2.30 unless I receive other orders from you. A man just in,who has escaped, reports the rebels retreating on the road leading to Stony Creek. I have picketed all the roads on our flanks and rear. Don't think City Point is in danger. The lines for six miles were assaulted this morning by three brigades of cavalry and eight pieces of artillery, under command of General William H. F. Lee and Colonel Butler. Captain Gregg, Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, in charge of guard, is captured; also Major Baker and 300 First District Cavalry at Sycamore Church. The enemy are retreating on the road leading to the Blackwater. This information I get from Captain Richardson, in charge of cattle herd. Captain R. says there is no doubt that the rebels are in full retreat. There has nothing been head from them since they left with the herd.

Respectfully,

W. A. VAN RENSSELAER,

Major Eighth New York Infantry.

Very respectfully,

T. B. GATES,

Colonel, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT, September 16, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: Two deserters from Wise's brigade, Bushord Johnson's division have just bee forwarded from the Tenth Army Corps. They came into our lines on the City Point Railroad at daylight this a.m. They are from the Forty-sixth Virginia. They state that Hoke's entire division withdrew from the front yesterday afternoon and marched to the rear to some point on the right of the line; that Wise's brigade moved at 2 o'clock yesterday from a point near Burnside's mine to the extreme left, and now lies between the City Railroad and the Appomattox River. Johnson's entire division has been prolonged, and the four brigades of Wise Ransom, and Gracie are the only troops now between the Burnside mine and the Appomattox River. On the right of the Burnside Mahone's division is posted, occupying the former position of Heth's division, which also withdrew yester-