CITY POINT, December 7, 1864-4 p.m.
Chief of Staff:
Every day I received letters from rebel deserters, who, in the absence of employment, have enlisted and now find the themselves confronting their old regiments or acquaintances. I wish you would ask the Secretary of War to give me discretionary authority to transfer such as I think deserving of it.
U. S. GRANT,
CITY POINT, VA., December 7, 1864.-10 p.m.
Washington, D. C.:
General Warren, with a force of about 22,000 infantry, six batteries, and 4,000 cavalry, started this morning with the view of cutting the Weldon railroad as far south as Hicksford. Butler at the same time is holding a threatening attitude north of the James to keep the enemy from detaching from there. To-night he has moved 6,500 infantry and two batteries across James River, to be embarked at Bermuda Hundred, to co-operate with the navy in the capture of the mouth of Cape Fear River. Palmer has also moved, or is supposed to have moved, up the Roanoke to surprise Rainbow, a place the enemy are fortifying, and to strike the Weldon road, if successful, south of Weldon. To-day General Butler sent some troops across the river above Dutch Gap and captured the pickets, and now holds the opposite side of the river, it being a long bend overflown by high tide, with no outlet except along the levees on the bank. I think he will be able to hold it. This may prove of advantage in opening the canal, and is a decided advantage in holding the enemy, who have long been expecting an attack when it is opened. It is calculated to keep the enemy at home whilst Warren is doing his work.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
December 7, 1864-10.30 a.m.
Major-General Warren, in command of four divisions, of infantry, the cavalry, and five batteries of artillery, moved this morning at daylight to execute your instructions received yesterday. Had the present weather been anticipated I should have postponed the movement. As it is, if we are to have continued bad weather it is as well it should be at the commencement of the expedition rather than a later period. The weather prevents our signal officers observing any movement of the enemy. The lines are now held in such manner that at short notice they can be left to the inclosed works and the picket-line. Major-General Crittenden reported yesterday and has been assigned to duty, under Major-General Parke, in the Ninth Corps.
GEO. G. MEADE,