V. Division commanders will enjoin upon the field officers of the day the habitual instructions of their command in the requirements of the recent order respecting salutes and other ceremonies by troops on outpost duty.
By order of Major-General Humphreys:
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH ARMY CORPS,
December 25, 1864. (Received 9.55 a.m.)
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
I have the honor to report that nothing of importance has transpired on the lines of this command during the preceding twenty-four hours.
H. G. WRIGHT,
HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,
December 25, 1864.
General S. WILLIAMS,
There was more picket-firing than usual last night. No deserters have been reported as yet. It is thought that the troops in our front were changed during the night, although the smoke and haze prevent our making any observations this a.m. to confirm or disprove this idea.
JNumbers G. PARKE,
P. S.- One deserters from Forty-sixth Virginia just reported. No change in the troops up to the time he left-10 p.m.
J. G. P.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
December 25, 1864.
Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, U. S. Malvern:
ADMIRAL: Upon landing the troops and making a thorough reconnaissance of Fort Fisher, both General Weitzel and myself are fully of the opinion that the place could not be carried by assault, as it was left substantially uninjured as a defensive work by the navy fire. We found seventeen guns protected by traverses, two only of which were dismounted, bearing up the beach and covering a strip of land, the only practicable route, not more than wide enough for 1,000 men in line of battle. Having captured Flag-Pond Hill Battery, the garrison of which, sixty-five men and two commissioned officers, were taken off by the navy, we also captured Half-Moon, and 7 officers and 218 men of the Third North Carolina Junior Reserves, including its commander, from whom I learn that a portion of Hoke's division, consisting of Kirkland's and Hagood's brigades, had been sent from the line; before Richmond on Tuesday last, arriving at Wilmington on Friday night. General Weitzel advanced his skirmish line within fifty yards of the fort while the garrison were kept in their bomb-proofs by the fire