War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0912 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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CITY POINT, VA., September 19, 1864.

Brigadier General M. R. PATRICK,

Provost-Marshal-General, &c.:

You will please report to headquarters the names and probable or positive method of desertion, if the same has been or can be ascertained, of all deserters, who may hereafter arrive at this point from the North. It is particularly desired to have reported such as have deserted to the enemy and by him sent through to the North.

By command of Lieutenant-General Grant:

GEO. K. LEET,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL

September 19, 1864

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: Our men returned from over the river this morning, having met an agent who left Richmond yesterday afternoon, from whom, and from two refugees brought out of Richmond by the agent, and to our lines by our men, the following is obtained: As careful an inquiry as possible has been made into the movement of guns said to have recently taken place about Petersburg. It is believed that some eleven very heavy guns were taken from their positions about Petersburg; that part of them were put in position on Drewry's Bluff, and part upon a new line which has been laid out between Petersburg and Richmond. In the early part of the week it had been rumored that General Early was to be called to Richmond to answer a charge of drunkenness. Nothing more was heard of this, but General Early was in Richmond on Wednesday, when it was understood that a council of general officers was held at Mr. Davis' house. All the prominent generals from General Lee's army and in Richmond were present. The following rumors as to what passed are given for what they are worth: It was said that General Early insisted upon more men being sent to him if he was ordered to hold the Valley; that General Lee also very strenuously pressed the fact that without re-enforcements he would be unable to hold his lines or meet the expected extension of the Union lines; that it was admitted that a part of the rebel lines are mere skeletons; that at Chesterfield particularly the line had been weakened to such and extent, in order to strengthen the enemy's right, as to make it a common subject of conversation. It was said to be agreed that Early should not return from the Valley unless necessitated to do so by an attack here which could not be repelled, and that if Early should not be able to get down in time they were then to fall back to the new line between Petersburg and Richmond. It is understood that the battalions composed of men employed in the Government works are to be called out and put in the service for sixty days, to be replaced as far as possible by wounded soldiers, deserters from our army, and prisoners taken from us who are willing to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States. The work at Dutch Gap occasions a great many rumors and some uneasiness, as the people cannot learn what it is expected to accomplish. It is said the a floating obstruction is being built to be placed at Cox's Ferry in case the work at Dutch Gap on our part