War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0991 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE JAMES,

March 15, 1865.

Brigadier-General RAWLINS,

Chief of Staff:

Deserters in to-day state that four or five regiments of negroes are near Petersburg. Heard it from a captain in the Forty-fourth Alabama, to which he belongs. Heard firing in that direction, and was told it was caused by drilling the negroes in firing with blank cartridges. Negroes were put in the field for the first time last week.

E. O. C. ORD,

Major-General, Commanding.

CITY POINT, VA.,

March 15, 1865-10.30 a.m.

Major-General ORD:

I think it will pay to organize a force of cavalry, to be followed a portion of the way by infantry supports, to take Weldon and destroy the stores collected there and the railroad bridge, if they can. If they fail in this they may be able to strike the Hickford bridge. Sumner's cavalry is ordered to Norfolk.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL,

ARMIES OPERATING AGAINST RICHMOND,

March 15, 1865.

Lieutenant-Colonel MANNING,

Headquarters Army of the James:

Our scouts report that Sheridan had a fight on Ben. Green's farm, eight miles from Richmond, between the Fredericksburg railroad and the river, on Sunday, and that yesterday he passed toward the White House. Yesterday the City Defense Troops were sent south of the city in New Kent. Every horse and mule within a wide radius of the city last night in the proper direction for the White House. Did you see them, or have you anything later?

G. H. [SHARPE].

HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA, ARMY OF THE JAMES,

In the Field, March 15, 1865-8.20 p.m.

Brevet Brigadier-General SHARPE,

City Point:

Deserters in to-day reported Sheridan near the Ben. Green's farm last Sunday, but say nothing of a light there. No reports as to which way he was moving, except the one I sent you to-day. Bryant's brigade, on New Market road, went above Richmond Sunday morning, returning at night. From that I think Sheridan must have been out of their reach, and what fight he had a very brief one.

MANNING.