War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0119 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

October 8, 1864 - 10.30 a. m. (Sent 10.50 a. m.)

Major-General BUTLER, Deep Bottom:

I have nothing very particular to communicate this a. m. Deserters from the enemy report no change in position of troops or indications of movements. The enemy is apparently engaged in fortifying against a farther advance. By direction of the lieutenant-general commanding, received last night, I am this morning advancing my pickets and making threatening demonstrations along my front with a view of preventing any detachments by the enemy.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

(Same to Brigadier-General Rawlins, City Point.)

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

October 8, 1864 - 5 p. m. (Sent 6.40 p. m.)

Major-General BUTLER, Deep Bottom:

The reconnoitering parties sent forward this morning along the front from the Jerusalem plank road to the extreme left drove the enemy's pickets into their works, which were found well manned. From prisoners taken to-day, and from several deserters who came in this morning, I am of the opinion there are in front of me Heth's, Wilcox's, Mahone's, and B. Johnson's divisions, extending from the Appomattox to the South Side Railroad, in the order enumerated; Heth on their right and Johnson on the left. The lines advanced to-day will be withdrawn after dark.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

(Same to Brigadier-General Rawlins, City Point.)

HEADQUARTERS,

Near Varina, October 8, 1864 - 7.45 p. m.

(Received 11 a. m. 9th.)

Major-General MEADE:

Dispatch received. Upon full examination I agree as to your force. It was reported to me in the morning of yesterday that prisoners from Heth's and Wilcox's divisions were captured. This at first caused some anxiety, but upon personal examination I find that they were soldiers of those divisions who had deserted and been, in the exigency, taken out of Castle Thunder and put into the local defense. We have before us Field, Hoke, four regiments of Pickett, and Bushrod Johnson's composite brigade, and some 5,000 local defenses. In the affair of yesterday we killed General Gregg, commanding Field's division; wounded severely General Bratton, Colonel Haskell, of the Seventh South Carolina Infantry [Cavalry], and Major Haskell, of the South Carolina artillery, and quite 1,000 others; captured 150 prisoners and deserters. I have over 50 deserters to-day. We lost less than 400 all told. All quiet to-day.

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

This message was delayed by break in line between City Point and General Butler's.

OPERATOR.