War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 1094 Chapter LIV. OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, September 29, 1864.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

Following sent for your information:

Major-General HUMPHREYS:

Several batteries of artillery passed on the road toward Richmond this evening. The several lookouts report that movements of some character were taking place in the western edge of the city almost all the afternoon. Dust was constantly rising, but the cause could not be distinguished. Trains were passing at intervals through the entire afternoon in the direction of Richmond, as seen at several points upon the turnpike northwestward of the city of Petersburg.

B. F. FISHER,

Major and Chief Signal Officer.

S. WILLIAMS.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

September 29, 1864-10.30 p.m. (Sent 11.15 p.m.)

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

Gregg after his reconnaissance returned to Colonel Wyatt's, where, about 4 p.m., he was attacked by Hampton, with whom he had quite a sharp affair till dark, having one piece of artillery disabled; casualties not great. A brigade of infantry was sent to his support, but was not engaged. The infantry brigade sent to Poplar Spring Church found the enemy in position and in force, their artillery commanding the road leading westward from the church. Hancock reports the enemy moving on the road from Petersburg to Port Walthall, threatening our right on the Appomattox. My signal officer reports that not over 7,000 infantry have been observed moving toward Richmond,and that nearly 5,000 have moved to our left. I do not see indications sufficient to justify my making an attempt on the South Side Railroad. I find can only raise 16,000 men in the four divisions of the Fifth and Ninth Corps, whereas when I took the Weldon railroad I had six divisions of these two corps, and afterward two divisions of the Second Corps. I can throw a force out to Poplar Spring Church, and engage the enemy, if you deem advisable, but this will only be extending our lines without a commensurate object, unless the engaging the enemy is so deemed.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

CITY POINT, VA., September 29, 1864-11.30 p.m.

Major-General MEADE:

You need not move out at daylight in the morning, but be prepared to start at, say, 8 o'clock, if you find the enemy still further reduced,or if ordered. I will start up to Deep Bottom at 5 a.m., and may be able to judge of the force sent to the north side by the enemy. When you do move out I think it will be advisable to maneuver to get a good position from which to attack, and then if the enemy is routed follow him into Petersburg,or where circumstances seem to direct. I do not think it advisable to try to extend our line to the South Side road, uncles a very considerable part of the enemy is drawn across the James, and then only when we are able to withdraw Butler's force rapidly and it to you.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.