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retreating toward Baltimore. A part of Ricketts' division are covering the retreat. Hunter, on the 9th, reports himself at Cumberland, and says his advance division was then on Cherry Run. He is moving forward as rapidly as possible. Sherman has effected lodgments across the Chattahoochee at two points, viz, near the mouth of Soap Creek and at Roswell. He will make these points secure before crossing his
.U. S. GRANT,
CITY L’OINT, VA., July 10, 1861–11.40 p. m. Major-General MEADE,
Commanding, dr. : Not receiving any reply from General Lee to communications sent on the 8th, I begin to believe it possible that he may have gone on the Maryland campaign, taking with him considerable re-enforcements from the army in your front. I think it advisable to make a reconnaissance around toward the Weldon road, pushing out skirmishers to make the enemy develop himself, and to ascertain if this be the fact. Sheridan might get up 3,000 of his best cavalry to move with such a reconnaissance. The object would be solely toascertain ittheenemy still occupies his position in full force, and if this can be ascertained without going to the Weldon roail, either by swinging around a heavy line of skirmishers from Ilancock's front to drive in the enemy's advance pickets and make him develop behind his works, or if it is certainly known by deserters who have come in within the last twenty-four hours that no movement has taken place it will be satisfactory.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
July 10, 1861–12 midnight. Lieutenant General GRANT :
GENERAL: No movements have been reported by deserters; on the contrary, they all agree in stating Hill's, Longstreets, and Beauregard's forces to be in our front. A negro woman came in to-night, who lives near the Weldon railroad, who says she heard the soldiers say that yesterday General Lee made it known he would grant a thirty-days' furlough to any soldier who would capture a Yankee soldier. I think this plausible, as he undoubtedly desires to kuow what detachments, if any, you are making. Last night the Sixth Corps when leaving made a great deal of noise, beating marches, ' blowing calls, and making bon-fires of their camps. This attracted the attention of the enemy, and this morning at daylight they advanced on a portion of the Second Corps pickets, crying out “The Yankees are gone. Our pickets received them with a brisk fire, driving them back, when all was quieted, and has remained so during the day. The reconnaissance you suggest can be made. I see no advantage in swinging round the left of the Second Corps, as I am satisfied it will only result in confronting the enemy in his works, but the corps, with the cavalry, can be sent on the Weldon road, which will, I have no doubt, develop a force of the enemy, and perhaps bring some out of the Petersburg lines; will it take to-morrow, however, to get the cavalry up here.
There have been several deserters in to-day, some coming in as late as 10 a. I., ip to which time there had been no changes in Ilill's or Longstreet's corps; they knew nothing of Beauregard's corps. Unless otherwise directed, I shall send the Second Corps to the Weldon road as soon as I can get a brigade of cavalry up here to go with it. I liare just learned that two men from the Forty-eighth Mississippi, Mahonie's division, Hill's corps, have been captured by our men, they having come into the trenches to exchange papers. These men say they have heard nothing of any recent movement of any part of their army, and that Hill and Longstreet are now in our front. I have a scout out who expects to get into Petersburg, but I do not look for his return before to-morrow night,
GEO. G. MEADE, Major-General, Commanding.
IIEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
July 10, 1861. Lieut. Gen. U.S. GRANT, Commanding U, S. Armies :
GENERAL: Your letters with reference to Mrs. Wadsworth and Mrs. Sackett are received. I have directed inquiries to be made for the effects of the late General Wadsworth, and if they can be found will take great pleasure in restoring them to his widow. I have also taken measures to ascertain the condition, and whereabouts of Colonel Sackett, and the information you ask shall be conveyed to you as soon as it can be ascertained. I regret, however, that it is not in my power to permit Mrs. Sackett to visit her husband at this time. The reasons that induce me to withhold my consent are applicable to the route she proposes to take, as indicated by you. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
July 10, 1861. Major-General HUMPHREYS, Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac :
In conformity with instructions contained in paragraph 2 of orders dated June (July 9, we submit the following plan for the operations against the enemy's works in front of the line occupied by this army:
First. The lines of the enemy being in front of the crest that overlooks Petersburg, the object to be attained is the possession of this crest, which will probably decide the fate of Petersburg.
Second. The general direction of the enemy's line from opposite the right of the Ninth Corps to the left of the Fifth is north and south; opposite the left of the Fifth Corps, near the plank or Jerusalem road, the line turns to the west, forming an angle with the first, somewhat greater than a right angle.
Third. The line is indented, and thus affords to a certain extent flank (lefense. At intervals batteries are placed, which may be increased in number almost at will. At certain parts, and notably at the angle and to the west of and near the plank road, there are strong re-loubts prepared for guns, and within the angle the ground is favorable for the construction by the enemy of interior intrenchments.
Fourth. The salient, formed by the redoubt at the angle of the enemy's line, flanks that part of the line in front of the Ninth Corps. Its distance from the line of the Fifth Corps varies from 400 to 800 yards. From the salient to the redoubt south of it, some 500 yards, the works face a space of apparently smooth open plain. Between the Fifth Corps and the salient a ravine commences, rapidly deepening becomes quite deep in front of the Ninth Corps, which has passed it at one point and effected a lodgment within about 150 yards of the enemy's line and immediately in front of one of his batteries. Toward this General Burn. side is running a mine, with the intention of destroying the battery and immediately assaulting the works, and if possible gaining the crest overlooking Petersburg.
Fifth. To render an assault successful, it is necessary to destroy the obstructions, abatis, palisades, &c., in front of this line, to silence, if practicable, the guns, and especially to capture or effectually silence the redoubt at the salient of the enemy's line, which not only flanks that line, but sweeps the ground on which the supports to the assaulting column must pass.
Sixth. To destroy or to occupy the salient regular approaches are the proper means. The ground in front is favorable as a whole, and in the reports of the chief of artillery and myself of the 6th instant this plan was proposed. The recent reduction of force of the army will not, it is understood, permit the occupation of any ground in front of the sonth line of the enemy's defenses, and we are therefore limited to such operations as we can effect on a line parallel to that of the enemy facing east.
Seventh. To effect this the lines now occupied by the Fifth Corps should be advanced as far as practicable, if possible to the edge of the ravine before mentioned, and as much artillery as can be safely and advantageously used placed in battery. Artillery should also be placed in position in Burnside's front, not only for luis direct fire, but to bear upon the salient and batteries in front of the Fifth and Eighteenth Corps.
Eighth. The enemy's fire being silenced approaches should be made if practicable across the ravine, and possession so gained of the angle, and the way cleared at the same time for the assault by the Ninth Corps. The mine should not be sprung until all the preparations for an assault are made.
Ninth. The crest above the enemy's present line may be crowned with batteries by him. Its possession gives the defense great advantage over the attack. If the assault is successful an immediate and vigorous attempt should be made to get possession of the crest. Should it fail the assaulting troops should make good a lodgment as far in advance as practicable, and operations be continued from the salient to get possession of the crest behind it. To do this it will probably be necessary to occupy more ground to our left.
Tenth. Should these operations offer to the enemy in front of the Eighteenth Corps means of annoyance, which are not at present very apparent, the necessary measures must be taken to overcome them as they develop themselves.
Eleventh. The advantages of position on the part of the enemy, with the restricted numbers which will prevent our making use of the growid which would envelop him, will make the success of our operations difficult and probably costly, both in time and men.
J. C. DUANE,
Major of Engincers.
HENRY J. ITUNT, Brigavier-General and Chief of Artillery.
The above project, being in conformity with my views, is approveit and adopted. The operations against the salient on the plank l'oad and the battery in front of the Ninth Corps will be at once commenceal.
GEO. G. MEADE,
City Point, July 10, 1861–10.30 a. in.
(Received 4.30 p. nr.) Brig. Gen. M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General : General Wright left at 10 a. m. His troops number 11,000. They are embarking rapidly. There are boats enough here now for 7,000. I expect more boats will arrive in time. General Wright's artillery and trains are left behind.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
July 10, 1861. Major General HUMPHREYS:
Four deserters from Finegan's (Florida) brigade, one from the Ninth Regiment, the others from the First Battalion, came into our lines this morning on the front of the Fifth Corps. They state that night before last they relieved Wright's brigade, which went in reserve. Their brigade had been in reserve for more than a week. They have little knowledge of what is going on outside of their division. The troops have been at work lately constructing fortified passages, to enable the reserves and troops from different points on the line to re-enforce any part of the front without having to uncover themselves. They all complain of short rations. A quarter of a pound of bacon, three-quarters of a pound of corn meal, and a little sugar and coffee once a week has been the ration for some time past. Absurd camp rumors regarding Early's movements are afloat in their division but they know nothing reliable concerning him. Very respectfully,
J. C. BABCOCK.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
July 10, 1864. Major-General HUMPHREYS,
Chief of Staff: GENERAL: Two colored men, representing themselves to be firemen lately employed on the Weldon and Petersburg Railroad, came into the lines of the Second Army Corps about 8 o'clock last evening. They left Petersburg about dark. They live near the railroad shops, and not being permitted to go about the city or the lines can give little information except on railroad matters. One train ran through to
Weldon night before last, the first since the repair of the road. There are now at Petersburg belonging to the Weldon railroad fifteen engines, twenty-one passenger-cars, and thirty box-cars. It was in tended that these cars and engines should have been run off last Friday. Mr. Alsop, the yard superintendent, said that General Lee had given an order that it was unsafe yet to run them through, and that notice would be given when it could be done. The engines were all fired up yesterday afternoon, and our informants fearing they would have to go south with them made their way into our lines, coming by the way of the Six-Mile Station. They have not been through on the road since it was cut. They understand that large quantities of supplies have been drawn by wagons from Stony Creek Station, the larger part of which are taken across the Appomattox on the upper bridge near the canal basin, and from there to the depot of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad near Dunlop's house, about one mile and a half above Petersburg.
One of these men, while near the provost-marshal's office at Petersburg a few days since, heard portions of a conversation between General Beauregard and the provost-marshal, Major Kerr. General Beauregard remarked that "If I had two lines of battle I would attack them at once, but I have hardly a line and a half.” Our shell have done considerable damage in the city, particularly to the Government rail. road bridges across the Appomattox River. Three deserters from the Sixty-first Virginia Regiment, Mahone's old brigade, of Mahone's division, came into the lines of the Third Division, Second Army Corps, about 3 o'clock this a. m. They make the following important state. ment, which we think reliable, as previous information goes to corroborate it: That on the return of Mahone's division from their expedition down the Weldon railroad, four or five days since, they relieved Wilcox's division, which was then lying on the extreme right of A. P. Hill's corps and adjoining Longstreet's right; that Wilcox's division went to Chaffin's Bluff on the north side of the James. They all speak positively of this, and think there can be no doubt of it. Heth's division forms the extreme right of the line, not extending to the railroad by a considerable distance. Finegan's brigade is in reserve to the rear of Mahone's division. A division, which they think is Hoke's, is in reserve directly in rear of Longstreet's right, their left. They think the force with Early is as follows: All of Ewell's old corps, Breckinridge's entire division (three brigades, one of which is McCausland's brigade of mounted infantry), Maryland Line, Col. B. T. Johnson.
VOTE.—Latest estimates of the above force would foot up about 15,000 infantry, 1,000 mounted infantry, 500 cavalry; total, 16,500. The greater portion of Ewell's artillery was left behind at Chaffin's Bluft. All of which is repectfully submitted by your obedient servant,
J. C. BABCOCK.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
July 10, 1864–11.30 4. m. Lieutenant-General GRANT:
Above dispatch sent for your information. Pickets and signal officers report the passage this a. m. of several trains, confirming the above statement of the negroes that the enemy is running off his rolling-stock for security. The report of Wilcox's division going to Chaf