War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0988 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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headquarters any deserters that might come in, that I might be apprised of the position and forces of the enemy in the immediate front I was directed to defend. It would appear Major-General Butler has, with a knowledge of this fact, countermanded, without any reference to me, this order. I beg you will decide whether I had the authority to act as I have done, and if so, you will notify Major-General Butler of your decision, and request him to rescind his order.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General, Commanding.

CITY POINT, VA., September 24, 1864.

Major-General MEADE:

The order giving you command of all the forces south of the Appomattox was given by telegraph whilst General Butler was absent, and may not have been known of by him. Your order to General Birney was right, but as troops of the Army of the Potomac take up the whole of the line occupied by the Tenth Corps to-night, it will only be necessary for me to inform General Butler why you gave Birney the orders you did.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, September 24, 1864.

Major-General MEADE:

The infantry commander at Old Court-House reports to General Benham that for the last few nights the cavalry pickets have come back near to the infantry, saying that the enemy in front were too strong for them. Have you heard of any force of the enemy in that direction? If there is such a force it ought to be driven away.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

September 24, 1864-7.30 p.m. (Sent 8 p.m.)

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

I have not heard of any enemy in the direction reported by the cavalry pickets to General Benham's infantry, and I don't believe there is any force there or has been, but since the cattle raid Kautz's cavalry have been somewhat demoralized, and I have no doubt they came in on some such pretext. I have sent your dispatch to Kautz.

GEO. G MEADE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL,

September 24, 1864.

Major General A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: Four deserters just forwarded from Second Army Corps. They came into General Mott's lines last evening. They are from the Ninth and Tenth Alabama Regiments, of Sanders' brigade. They report