HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, November 24, 1864-1 p. m. (Sent 1.25 p. m.)
I have just examined and intelligent non-commissioned officer form Harris' brigade, Mahone's division, who came into our lines this morning. He says he was in Petersburg yesterday, and in Bushrod Johnson's division, and that he heard nothing of a brigade having been moved or sent away, and he feels sure no troops have been detached from Lee's army. Other deserters from Johnson's division, since the one who reported the fact, do not confirm the withdrawal of any brigade or regiments of that division. The non-commissioned officer says a slip was issued from the Petersburg paper yesterday, announcing the occupation, without resistance, of Macon by General Sherman.
GEO. G. MEADE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL, November 24, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: Rebel deserters from the following commands have arrived at these headquarters to-day, viz: Two from Harris' brigade; two from Finegan's brigade; two from Wright's old, now General Sorrel's. They report no recent changes in enemy's position in our front, except that Scales' brigade is lying in front of lead-works and joining Wallace's brigade on the right. Two of these men report that they saw men from Wallace's brigade on picket yesterday. Thomas' brigade is lying between the Appomattox and James, near Swift run. Two of the most intelligent of these men (and they were well informed with regard to enemy's troops) seem quite confident in the belief that no troops have been sent South from General Lee's army. One of them has friends in Wallace's brigade, and on Tuesday last he borrowed money from an officer of that brigade whom he met at Petersburg. One of them lately saw Scales' brigade in the position herein stated, and he states that there are men in Wright's brigade who have friends in Thomas' brigade, and that they visited them on the north side not long since. It was reported in the Confederated lines yesterday that a dispatch from General Sherman to the Secretary of War had lately been intercepted. It was to the following effect: Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina are in my hands, at my mercy, or something to that effect. It was reported yesterday that General Sherman was within three mile of Macon, and that the city was not defended and would surrender without resistance. General Wright has been promoted to be major-general, and is commanding a division in Hood's army.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S.-Seven men just received from Wise's brigade. They know nothing of Wallace's brigade, but say that two or three days ago it was on their right. They do not know of its moving, but last night their brigade (Wise's) was moved about 150 yards to the right.