O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLII/2 [S# 88]
UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS, RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA, FROM AUGUST 1, 1864, TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1864.(*)--#26
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL,
City Point, Va., September 1, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have received from R. G. Lee, commanding U.S. steamer Commodore Morris, seven refugees brought through from Richmond by our agent. They left Richmond last evening at 8 o'clock. Papers brought by them were given to the officers on the steamer. One of them, a bright and intelligent young man who was born in the North, says that on Sunday last he met an acquaintance of his who has long been a sutler in the army; that he knew of his having gone some little time ago to General Early's forces in the Valley with a supply of tobacco. He says that when they met on Sunday the sutler told him that all of General Early's troops were on their way back. He did not know what point they had reached on their return, but the fact, of the whole force returning was spoken of as a certainty. It was understood that they were coming back to General Lee's army. This refugee says that on Sunday night some troops passed through Richmond going to the Petersburg railroad, but whence they came, and whether or not they were the advance of Early, he is unable to say. Yesterday morning a battalion of artillery numbering some sixteen guns passed through the city on its way, as was understood, to Chaffin's farm. No troops were with it except such as belonged to the artillery, and the reasons for the movement were not understood. General Kemper has been put in command of the reserve militia of Virginia, of which two regiments, the First and Nineteenth, are in the city doing duty at the various departments, offices, the Libby Prison, Castle Thunder, &c. The First Regiment is composed of Virginians, old men and boys, over and under the age subjecting them to conscription. The Nineteenth Regiment is composed of foreigners who have rendered themselves liable to do military duty by voting within the Confederacy, but are at the same time permitted to remain in Richmond as shoemakers, blacksmiths, &c. These, with the Tredegar Battalion, the Navy Battalion, the Arsenal Battalion, the Armory Battalion, and Hensley's Battalion of clerks in the War Department, contain every man able to walk or render any service whatever, and are thought to average about 300 men each. Flour is said to be still advancing, the most ordinary quality being now difficult to get at $325 a barrel, and the stalls for the sale of meat in the market have been reduced to two or three in number. Pork is not to be had in the market, and the fresh meat which has supplied the city for a short time past has been mainly bought by the Government and sold at fixed prices to the poorer classes. It was said to have been sent on by General Early, and was of very poor quality. No military movements, not hereinbefore stated, are known to have taken place.
GEORGE H. SHARPE,