War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1108 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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agent describes generally the enemy's line on the south side of the Appomattox, and says that Gordon's division is on the extreme right, it being about six to eight miles beyond Petersburg. Our own information from the enemy's cavalry lately having been meager, we have asked our Richmond friends to give us something definite in regard to it, and they send us word that the cavalry force at Belfield numbers from 6,000 to 7,000 men, and is under the command of Wade Hampton, who is there personally. This comprises all the enemy's cavalry in our vicinity, with the exception of Dearing's brigade, which pickets the right of the enemy's line beyond Gordon's division, and Gary's brigade, which we presume to be doing the same duty on the left of the enemy's line. We have had, however, little or no information from the north side of the James River of late. The enemy's cavalry at Belfield are principally engaged in repairing the railroad and in getting something for their horses to eat. The following is sent in answer to information asked for from headquarters Army of the Potomac:

The railroad from Dunlop's Station, on the Petersburg and Richmond road, is graded to Ettricks, above Campbell's Bridge, at the extreme end of Old street. On one mile of this road the track is laid, commencing at Dunlop's. It is contemplated to run this road across the South Side above Petersburg through to Stony Creek. Hoke's division is the only one sent south from General Lee's army, it being the largest and best division in his command.

It is understood that Early's force left north of Richmond is about 8,000, including infantry and cavalry, the grater portion of it being cavalry. Hunton's brigade, of Pickett's division, which went to Gordonsville on our late advance in that direction, has returned to its position. It is said to have arrived in Gordonsville only one hour before Torbert appeared in front of the town. Our Richmond friends send us word that the railroad men there and elsewhere in the south have established a line with their rebel sympathizers North for the purpose of getting tin, brass, copper, and other necessaries for repairs to their engines. They say that the stuff is brought in small boats up the Blackwater, but as yet can give us no more definite information in regard to the route. The prospective evacuation of Richmond is a rumor again current among the plain classes in the town. It is said that Jeff. Davis' brother or brother-in-law, form the Southwest, is now with him urging such a step. No facts are given to substantiate the rumor. Gold, which touched fifty for one, on the capture of Savannah, is still rising.

Very respectfully,


Colonel, &c.


December [31], 1864-5 p. m.

Captain PAINE,

Signal Officer:

All quiet in this front this p. m. I think the message forwarded at 10.25 a. m. was practice between the stations. The following has been intercepted:

11.25 A. M.

Colonel B.:

From Dunn's: One company of infantry just passed open space, going toward Point of Rocks. Five wagons passed same place, going in same direction. Gunboat off Port Walthall.