War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0879 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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The report came from E Company by a sergeant. I have ordered Company M to go down immediately. Will let you know as soon as I get more definite information. There has been no firing for fifteen minutes.



Major, Commanding Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry.

All is quiet here. It hardly seems a serious attack. A man just in from Captain McFarlan's company says those two companies have been driven back on the straight road (stage road) for a mile; thus the rebs are in between E and the old post of D and b. Many horses are lost in Companies D and B. The enemy are reported as coming up the main road, this behind E, but I haven't this certain.


5.30 A. M.

Respectfully referred to Major-General Humphreys for his information.

The attack seems to be for some distance along the line.

Very respectfully,



HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, September 17, 1864-2 p.m.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Harper's Ferry:

I send you the reports* of Generals Davies and Kautz, in command of the cavalry sent in pursuant of the enemy, by which you will find the enemy was prepared for any attempt on our part to recapture the cattle. The distance to be marched - over fifteen miles in Davies' case and thirty in Kautz's - would have prevented any infantry force from reaching the scene of action in time. This consideration, together with the undeveloped movements of the enemy toward his right and my left, prevented me from detaching any considerable force of infantry to aid in the attempt to recover the cattle. These movements have been previously reported, being the moving of a considerable body of infantry and artillery on the Boydton plank road on the 15th instant, the return of which is as yet unknown. In addition, deserters, particularly one form the north side of the James, state it was reported by their officers Lee was making a great flank movement, and to-day Colonel Sharpe sends information (dispatch transmitted) that the Government employes in Richmond had been ordered to Petersburg. Yesterday I informed you signal officers north of the Appomattox reported the movement into Petersburg of troops on the Richmond road, and a deserter stated he had about the same time seen troops marching through Petersburg, said to be part of Early's forces, who, it was stated, had sent back 6,000 troops. There may be nothing in all this, but so many reports from different sources would lead to the conclusion that some movement is on foot - whether it be offensive, or whether it is, that seeing in our journals the reports of large accessions daily received by this army,


*See pp.891,896.