War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0952 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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U. S. SHIP ONONDAGA,

James River, September 21, 1864.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Armies of the United States, Hdqrs. City Point:

GENERAL: I have ordered one of the gun-boats off the Chickahominy to patrol the river with boats to Jamestown Island, and another gun-boat to patrol from the mouth of the Chickahominy to Wilcox's Wharf, and have instructed the commander of the Hunchback to examine the swash channel off Jamestown Island every day.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MELANCTON SMITH,

Captain and Divisional Officer, Commanding in James River.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT,

September 21, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS, Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: A deserter from the Thirty-fourth North Carolina, Scales' brigade, of Wilcox's division, has just been forwarded. He came in last evening; states that his brigade (Scales') lies across the Weldon railroad near the lead-works, with McGowan's and Lane's brigades to the right, which is all of Wilcox's division south of the Appomattox. Heth's division is on the extreme right of the line fortifying on the Boydton plank road. Mahone's division is to the left of Scales' brigade, and informant thinks it extends to Beauregard's line. Wright's brigade is on the right of Mahone's division, and joins Scales' brigade; thinks Hoke's division is in reserve somewhere in rear of the line; cannot locate it. Three of our deserters came into the lines of McGowan's brigade on Sunday last; said they had been in the army only two days; had not heard from the Valley when informant left. The last news from Early was that he had driven Sheridan down the Valley. A deserter from the Third Georgia received last evening corroborates this statement in regard to the position of Mahone's and Wilcox's divisions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. C. BABCOCK.

PLANK ROAD SIGNAL STATION,

September 21, 1864-9.45 a.m.

Major FISHER:

The enemy continue working on new works, left of large fort near Weldon railroad; enlarging works near lead-works. All quiet.

H. W. FULTON,

Sergeant.

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, SIGNAL DEPARTMENT,

September 21, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS, Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: The following report from the plank road station is respectfully forwarded:

At 10.15 a column of cavalry numbering about 500, followed by three small detachments, making an additional number of about 400, and three pieces of artillery, came