HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE JAMES,
February 17, 1865.
Following just received:
HATCHER'S, February 17, 1865-10 a. m.
I have the honor to report that the enemy attempted to drive in my picket at a point opposite Dutton, where the lines are closest, but were repulsed. The attacking column consisted of ten companies of Steuart's brigade. A few volleys from my men stampeded them. Two dead rebels, many hats and muskets, found in front of our lines this morning. This occurred at 1.30 a. m. They report that their men would not the night; four of them were in the attack. They report that their men would not fight, and that they scattered at our first fire. Their object was to drive us back, we being too near at that point. The deserters report some wounded in the affair.
Nine more deserters just in, making twenty-one on General Ferrero's front.
E. O. C. ORD,
POINT OF ROCKS, VA., February 17, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel T. S. BOWERS:
The authority to recruit the Thirteenth New York Artillery was obtained by Major-General Foster from the Governor of that State. It was expressly stated, I have always understood, that the Third Battalion should consist of seamen, for marine artillery and army gun-boat service, and the men were even uniformed and armed to adapt them for that duty. The Reno, Parke, Foster, and Burnside were built to be manned by this battalion. Three batteries I believe are on the Bermuda line. To transfer the officers and men, most of whom are seamen, to land service would, I believe, occasion great dissatisfaction.
CHAS. K. GRAHAM,
NORFOLK, February 17, 1865-5 p. m.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Army of the James:
COLONEL: Major Hicks reports some force of rebels about him at Williamsburg, and fears an attack on Jamestown Island. If two companies of cavalry, previously asked for, can be ordered to report to him, I request that it may be done.
GEO. H. GORDON,
JAMESTOWN ISLAND, February 17, 1865.
Major J. C. HICKS:
There have been seen last night and this morning a force of cavalry at Burnt Ordinary, on Richmond road. A negro on Mr. Jones' farm carries all the news to rebel scouts. He has been through our lines at Williamsburg several times and back with information to them. Four