War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0973 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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Virginia Central road it will go far toward starving out the garrison of Richmond. The Weldon road has been largely used until now, notwithstanding it has been cut to Stony Creek. It is now gone to Hicksford, and I think can be of no further use. If the enemy are known to have retired to Staunton, you will either be able to make a dash on the communications north of James or spare a part of your force. Let me know your views as to the best course to make a dash on the Central road and canal or to detach from your command.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

OFFICE OF PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL, December 12, 1864.

Major General G. G. MEADE,

Commanding Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: Six deserters, all from the Sixth North Carolina, Lewis' brigade (Hoke's old), Pegram's division, came into the lines of the Second Army Corps yesterday evening, and were forwarded last night. They came in from the enemy's picket-line on General Miles' front. All of them are conscripts, and have only been two weeks in service. They can give little or no information of organization or strength of their commands. Pegram's division moved some four miles to the right last Saturday and returned to camp again in the evening. Cannot tell where they went to, though from description it must be Hatcher's Run; are occupying winter quarters vacated by Heth's division, think about four miles from Petersburg. They are totally unacquainted with the country, and cannot locate their commands with any exactness.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNumbers C. BABCOCK.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

OFFICE OF PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL, December 12, 1864.

Major General G. G. MEADE,

Commanding Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: Two men who state they belong to the First Michigan Infantry and were captured by the enemy yesterday evening have made their escape, and tell the following story: That they were captured at McDonald's plantation, two miles this side of the Nottoway and half a mile off the Jerusalem plank road, yesterday evening about dark by a party of scouts belonging to the Fifth South Carolina Cavalry; that the Fifth Army Corps had not passed at the time of their capture, but was passing; they were taken about a mile back into the woods, where they remained until the corps had passed; heard firing about sundown, at which the scouts remarked "that A. P. Hill's corps was close in the rear of the Fifth Corps, following them up;" that they made their escape about 7 p.m. and came across the country to our lines, meeting nothing but a few scouts and guerrillas. Could learn nothing further concerning the enemy. Informants appear to be truthful, and have been sent to their command for identification.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNumbers C. BABCOCK.