War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0040 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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a large portion of their forage, and yet within call and supporting distance of the infantry, changing the camps from time to time as the forage is exhausted?

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHS. THOMAS,

Assistant Quartermaster-General, Brevet Brigadier-General.

[Indorsement.]

OFFICE OF CHIEF QUARTERMASTER,

ARMIES OPERATING AGAINST RICHMOND,

January 9, 1865.

Respectfully referred to General John A. Rawlins, chief of staff Lieutenant-General Grant, for consideration in connection with my letter of this date on the subject of forage.

My reply will be sent to General Meigs so soon as I receive reports from the chief quartermasters of corps and commanding officers of troops who have operated on our flanks. It is surprising that General Thomas is not aware of this difference between our situation here and that of General Sherman, who is and has been in the open country of the enemy where there are supplies of all kinds. The rebel army in our front can scarcely procure foder and grain enough in Virginia to keep their own horses from dying. Whenever these armies could procure fodder, grain, or grass even, the opportunity has never been lost. Our quartermasters and commanding officers have always understood its importance. If we could send out foraging parties, or our cavalry and trains, as suggested by General Thomas, we could find no forage now. If this be practicable it can be done only on orders from superior authority.

RUFUS INGALLS,

Chief Quartermaster, Armies Operating against Richmond, Va.

OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL,

ARMIES OPERATING AGAINST RICHMOND,

City Point, January 5, 1865.

J. C. BABCOCK,

Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

I have deserters to-day from Pickett's division and from the Local Defense Troops on the north side. There is no change in Pickett's brigades, nor, as far as I can judge, on the north side, where Field holds the line next the river; then the Local Defense Troops or city battalions and the reserves, all commanded by G. W. Custis Lee, and Kershaw toward the Darbytown road. I hear nothing of Hoke's return. Our news from Washington is that Early is at Staunton.

SHARPE,

Colonel.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS, January 5, 1865.

(Received 10.20 a. m.)

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

No changes in the disposition of this command, and nothing of interest occurred since last report. Two deserters came into our lines during the night.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General.