War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0660 N. AND SE. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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HEADQUARTERS SIXTH ARMY CORPS,

February 23, 1865. (Received 9.45 a. m.)

Brevet Major-General WEBB:

Nothing of importance has occurred within my lines during past twenty-four hours. Forty-seven deserters came in. Fourteen brought arms and accouterments. They reported the enemy expecting an attack on their right.

H. G. WRIGHT,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS SIXTH ARMY CORPS,

February 23, 1865-1.50 p. m.

Brevet Major-General WEBB,

Chief of Staff:

Deserters from Mahone's and Heth's division have just come in who left camp since 10 a. m. They repeat the statements of previous deserters that they are under orders to move at a moment's notice and say that no troops from this part of the line have actually moved. The report sent up last night to the effect that Heth's division had marched seems to have been founded on the movement of one brigade, which was taken somewhat to the rear, where the regiments were consolidated, but which afterward returned to its place on the line. They, of course, know nothing regarding the movement in view which occasioned the order hiding the troops in readiness, but say that the surmises are that they are to go to the rear. Not one of the whole number examined has the idea that an attack on our lines is in contemplation. One of these men says that he was told that the commissary at Petersburg had orders to be in readiness to move his stores at a moment's notice; and another that he was told that artillery passed through Petersburg yesterday in the direction of Richmond. They say, however, that no guns have been taken from their part of the line. One of the men, an intelligent Georgian, says that the question of arming the negroes has occasioned great dissatisfaction in their army and that though the subject was referred to the army, yet few voted, and these generally were those in favor of the proposition. Hence as he explains it, the unanimous vote reported to have been cast in some regiments for the arming of the negroes. The statement of some of these men that deserters to the rear, when apprehended, are returned to their commands without other punishment than a few day's confinement under guard, seems significant as connected with the discipline they are able to enforce.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. G. WRIGHT,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS SIXTH ARMY CORPS,

February 23, 1865-4 p. m.

Brevet Major-General WEBB,

Chief of Staff:

Deserters just in from Mahone's division state that none of the troops from their part of the line have been moved, and corroborate generally the statements of previous deserters. They state, however, in addition, that details have been made from their division to move