HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,
February 16, 1865-2 p. m.
Bvt. Major General A. S. WEBB,
Chief of Staff, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:
The following report has been received from General Willcox:
Battery 5 is apparently shelling a part of the enemy's camp. I have an officer on the ground, who will report further if it is anything else. Lieutenant Holway, just returned, says Lieutenant Bill, First Connecticut Artillery, shelled the enemy out of their camp opposite Fort Stedman, in the ravine.
O. B. WILLCOX,
JNO. G. PARKE,
HEADQUARTERS ARTILLERY BRIGADE, NINTH CORPS,
February 16, 1865.
Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac:
The firing this morning was from the batteries on the Appomattox, and commenced by our batteries shelling the enemy's camps. That this afternoon was in front of Fort Haskell, and was commenced by the enemy.
JNO. C. TIDBALL,
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., NINTH ARMY CORPS,
February 16, 1865.
Captain JOHN C. YOUNGMAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Ninth Army Corps:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to transmit herewith a statement made by Lieutenant Clifford, Eighth Michigan Veteran Volunteers, the officer who had charge of that portion of the line where the rebel deserters claimed to have come in on the evening of the 12th instant. I have carefully examined the line at the point named, and have no doubt that they might have come through int he manner named while the men were observing the ordinary diligence and watchfulness of men on picket. That portion of our line is enfiladed by the enemy's fire, and flankers are built to protect the pits. The point where they claimed to have come through was between two pits thus protected, where there was a drain through the works, and opposite to that, in the rear, a traverse, through which they claimed to have passed, and when once across our line there was a cover to the railroad. The night of the 12th was a very favorable night for such a passage, being very cold and windy, rendering it impossible to hear a person at any considerable distance; and, besides, pickets generally are on the lookout for an attack or ordinary desertions, but it would hardly occur to any one to expect an enemy to pass through the line as a spy, when our rear line would appear to afford better facilities to accomplish that end. I have used every effort to make my pickets efficient and watchful by visiting the line frequently myself, and directing the brigade officer to visit the line once during the day and thrice during the night, besides an officer of the guard, who is kept on the line all night