nearly all the troops have left both cities and sent forward to Butler. The only force between Suffolk and Portsmouth is about 150 cavalry of the Twentieth New York, under a Major Gates, and stationed at Bernard's Mill. I will send you papers of the 23rd instant by courier. The New York World is particularly interesting.
J. F. MILLIGAN,
PETERSBURG, VA., May 27, 1864.
(Received 12.50 a. m. 28th.)
Captain JOHN M. OTEY,
CAPTAIN: My courier arrived this a. m. from my scouts at Fort Boykin, and reported that since Sunday a number of transports have passed Fort Boykin with troops on board, estimated by them between 3,000 and 5,000. In my dispatch to the general I estimated them at about 4,000. You will perceive by the inclosed report to me that they are taking all they can from Norfolk and Portsmouth. Four transports went down the river on Monday with wounded, and one yesterday. Transports are continually passing up with stores, forage, and ordnance. Yesterday fourteen pontoon-boats left Old Point for Butler. They were towed up on canal barges by steamers. The canal barges are all of the same shape and dimensions. May they not use them as a pontoon also from Bermuda Hundred wharf to Shirley? It is but a short distance. I went out on our right with General Colston this p. m. and approached within 400 yards of their (the enemy's) pickets at Port Walthall. They have cleared the bluff on the east side of the Appomattox, below Red Bluff, and at Dr. Mason Gilliam's place. A small force was only visible there, but below that, and in the rear of Broadway, a number of tents are visible--say about a regiment. The cleared bluff at Mason Gilliam's commands the plateau as you approach that point from Dunn's. Neither breast-works nor artillery.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. F. MILLIGAN,
Major and Signal Officer.
HDQRS. ENGINEER DEPT., DEPT. OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
Richmond, May 27, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel D. URQUHART,
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that a telegram from the engineer at Drewry's Bluff, dated May 23, 3.20 p. m., states that "the iron-clad Fredericksburg has passed through the obstructions without apparent difficulty; " and a note from the same person states that the other two are to go out to-day.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. STEVENS,
Colonel of Engineers.
RICHMOND, VA., May 28, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,
GENERAL: Yours of this date received. I have sent a copy of your letter to General Beauregard, and hope he may be able to reply satisfactorily