OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHALL-GENERAL, ARMIES OPERATING AGAINST RICHMOND, VA.,
November 1, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: Scouts returned this morning bringing communication form Richmond agent, which is to the following effect: General Lee has two little boys trained as spies, who give him all manner of information. They are very young and travel along our lines in the character of newsboys. They have given General Lee much valuable information, and traveling under this guise are little apt to be suspected as spies. Their names are Smith. Informant says:
It has been suggested by one in position to advise that, as the western part of the city is unprotected, if the Yankees should send two corps around, starting them at night, say about 12 o'clock, and make at the same time a simultaneous attack all along the line, they could enter and possess Richmond without bloodshed, taking possession of the immediate fortifications and driving out the Confederates. Within Richmond there are neither troops nor fortifications. In order to make this movement successful the troops should enter the town on the Westham plank road.
There is a guard of some 300 or 400 men at Burkeville, on the Danville road; no other guard between Danville and Richmond. There is no guard along the James River Canal. There are torpedoes placed in front of a number of the enemy's works; informant cannot particularize any of them. Danville road brought in yesterday ten car-loads of bacon and one of whisky from Macon, Ga. The morning passenger train runs regularly to Danville road brought in yesterday ten car-loads of bacon and one of whisky from Macon, Ga. The morning passenger train runs regularly to Danville form Richmond; the evening train is discontinued on account of the heavy pressure of Government freight. Freight arrives in Richmond every evening at 6 o'clock. On the Central road the passenger train arrives daily at Richmond at 7 o'clock in the evening. Freight trains arrive three times a week - Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays - arriving in Richmond at noon. There are no troops on the brook pike nor on the west side of the city.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL,
November 1, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: Four deserters from the Sixth Virginia Infantry, Weisiger's brigade, Mahone's division, have been received to-day. Only two of the m are lately from their brigade, and came into the lines of the Fifth Army Corps this morning. They state that their brigade (Weisiger's) is lying just west of the Weldon railroad, its left resting on the railroad near the lead-works, and its right near Battery Numbers 45, in same position formerly held by Scales' brigade. Wright's brigade is on the left of Weisiger's and east of railroad. They think all of Mahone's division has returned from the right and is lying in nearly the same position formerly held by Scales' brigade. Wright's brigade is on the left of Weisiger's and east of railroad. They think all of Mahone's division had returned from the right and is lying in nearly the same position as formerly. Their brigade lost heavily in the late fight. Went into action 1,500 strong and lost 600 in killed, wounded, and missing. Harris' brigade preceded Weisiger's on the march, but was not engaged. Two contrabands from Dinwiddie bring information