War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1024 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 17, 1864-6.30 p.m.

(Sent 6.40 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON:

I congratulate the President, yourself, and the country on the glorious victory achieved by Major-General Thomas and the troops under his command. I have directed a salute of 100 guns to be fired to-morrow at sunrise in honor of this brilliant triumph.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 17, 1864-11.15 a.m.

(Sent 11.30 a.m.)

Brigadier-General RAWLINS:

There is nothing of importance to communicate. A deserter from Mahone's division came in yesterday. From his report the division has returned to its old position in reserve. This accounts for the whole of Hill's corps and proves its return to the lines around Petersburg. I have just received a telegram from Major-General Ord announcing the passage of troops by rail toward Petersburg. I infer from this General Ord no longer anticipate offensive movements on his lines. Have you any idea when the lieutenant-general may be expected back?

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

CITY POINT, VA., December 17, 1864.

Major-General MEADE:

Genera Grant telegraphs from Washington that he will be absent until Monday next.

JNO. A. RAWLINS,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE JAMES, December 17, 1864.

(Received 11 a.m.)

Major-General MEADE:

Signal officer reports at 9.30 this a.m. regular train of thirteen cars, heavily loaded with troops, passed Port Walthall toward Petersburg.

E. O. C. ORD,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 17, 1864-11.15 a.m.

(Sent 11.29 a.m.)

Major-General ORD:

Your telegram reporting movements of troops by rail toward Petersburg received. I, last night, on being informed by Brigadier-General Rawlins that you were concerned for your Bermuda Hundred front, [replied] that Brigadier-General Benham had an available force of some