HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, SIGNAL DEPARTMENT, September 28, 1864-7.30 p.m.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: Several batteries of artillery passed on the toward Richmond this evening. The several lookouts report that movements of some character were taking place in the western edge of the city almost of the afternoon. Dust was constantly rising, but the cause could not be distinguished. Trains were passing and intervals through the entire afternoon in the direction of Richmond, as seen at several points upon the turnpike northwestward of the city of Petersburg.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. F. FISHER,
Major and Chief Signal Officer.
ORDERS.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
September 28, 1864.
The following dispositions and arrangements will be made:
1. The whole army will be under arms ready to move at 4 a.m. of the 29th instant, the men having four days' rations in the haversacks and sixty rounds of ammunition on the person. All trains and wagons will be hitched up, ready to move at the same hour, supply trains with the prescribed number of rations (six days'), and all the trains with forage to the extent of their capacity. All surplus supplies, after the trains have been loaded, will be removed at once from the depots to City Point.
2. Major-General Warren will be prepared to move with not less than two divisions of his corps, leaving the garrisons of Forts Wadsworth, Dushane, and Davison, and of the inclosed batteries, and a thin line between Fort Wadsworth and Fort Howard.
3. Major-General Parke will be prepared to leave the defense of the line between Fort Davis and Fort Howard to his Third Division and the garrisons of Fort Alexander Hays and Fort Howard. He will concentrate his First and Second Divisions and reserve artillery near the Gurley house ready for movement.
4. All corps commanders will hold in view the contingency of the withdrawal of their troops from the rifle-pits connecting the inclosed works, leaving the line from the Appomattox to Fort Davison to be held to the redoubts and inclosed batteries, and the further contingency of withdrawing entirely from the intrenchments.
5. Brigadier-General Gregg will concentrate his cavalry near Robertson's on the Weldon railroad, but making suitable dispositions to watch the plank road and toward Reams' Station.
6. The troops that move will take with them their intrenching tools, one half their ambulances, and one medicine and one hospital wagon to each brigade, one-half the small-arm ammunition wagons and one-half the reserve ammunition wagons of the 12-pounder guns. The spring wagons and pack animals allowed for headquarters may also accompany the troops, but no supply trains, forage wagons, wagons for sales of stores to officers, baggage wagons, or sutlers' wagons will be permitted to accompany them.
By command of Major-General Meade: