War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0855 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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day a afternoon. The following diagram will show the relative position of the enemy's (according to our latest information) up to this last change:

MAP

Deserters to-day report that Hoke's and Heth's division have withdrawn from the line and moved to the right to defend the South Side Railroad from a supposed advance of our forces. A part of Wilcox's division is reported to have withdrawn also, but returned again late last evening. One of the deserters from the Forty-sixth Virginia states that he was in Petersburg yesterday morning and saw infantry on the march that was said to have just arrived from Early's command; that he made inquires and understood that Early had sent back 6,000 men; did not learn whose command it was or any of the regiments composing it. Informants are both intelligent and apparently honest. They think a considerable force was sent to the extreme right yesterday to fortify against an advance on the South Side road. Do not think any attack is intended on our lines.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. C. BABCOCK.

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

Major General A. A. HUMPHREYS, Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I conscript deserter from the Thirty-fourth North Carolina, Scales' brigade, Wilcox's division, came into the lines of the Ninth Army Corps about sunrise this a.m. He has only been in the army since the 28th of last mouth, and can give very little information. He states that yesterday morning about 10 o'clock two brigades (including his own, Scales') moved about a mile to the right in the direction of the South Side Railroad, and returned to their old position again last evening; does not know what other brigades went besides Scales', but it was some troops that had been lying in the rear, near Petersburg; that the men said our forces were advancing on the South Side Railroad, and the movement was to oppose it. About dark yesterday it was reported that the cavalry had driven our forces, and the infantry was then ordered back to their old positions. Scales' brigade is about a quarter of a mule east of the lead-works. Informant states that a part of McGowan's brigade occupied the works left by Scales during the movement. Informant has no further information of importance; thinks the remainder of the line was quiet yesterday; thinks no re-enforcements have arrived lately, except occasional conscripts. Rations as usual.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. C. BABCOCK.