War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0866 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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CITY POINT, VA., December 8, 1864-1.30 p. m.

Major-General MEADE:

I would not favor moving to the left unless the most positive evidence was had that the enemy had moved a very considerable force away from Petersburg. Then it would be uncertain whether it would not be better to attempt to force a weak place in his lines.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

December 8, 1864-7.20 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

I send you all the information* received since last dispatch. You will see how conflicting it is. Troops reported coming in cars from Richmond to Petersburg, then reported moving from Petersburg to Butler's front; again moving westward on the Cox and Boydton plank, and then others reported leaving the lines near lead-works and going into Petersburg. No large bodies reported moving in any direction. I have not yet heard from the cavalry sent down the Vaughan road. A squadron of cavalry has just come in from the Nottoway River, where they were left by Warren until his column should pass, and then directed to return here collecting stragglers. The commanding officer reports the pontoon bridge over the Nottoway was taken up just before daylight, when he immediately left. He brings in 850 stragglers. He estimates the distance to the bridge twenty miles. He has no news other than above. Saw nd heard nothing of the enemy on his return.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

CITY POINT, VA., December 8, 1864.

(Received 8.30 p. m.)

Major-General MEADE:

Hoke's division left General Butler's front toward Petersburg last night. I suppose their is no doubt about this fact. I hope your cavalry will be able to learn whether there has been any movement toward Warren. When this is known we will know what to do.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

December 8, 1864-9 p. m (Sent 9.40 p. m.)

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

The cavalry have returned. They found a force at the crossing of Hatcher's Run by the Vaughan road, said to be Young's brigade of cavalry, which prevented any farther progress, and, as it was nearly dark when they reached there, the officer withdrew with a loss of some five of six wounded. I have directed [him] to start at daylight to-morrow and try the Halifax road crossing, which is lower down, but his force is so

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*See Fisher to Meade, 4 p. m. and 6 p. m., p. 871.

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