General Smith's signal station, in the bight of Appomattox River, best commanding the opposite side; there he will throw up a small and strong work that may be easily held for the best communication with this point. He will fortify himself as speedily as possible, and hold it against any demonstration of the enemy. The troops will take three days' rations, 300 shovels and axes. Lieutenant Partridge, of the Signal Corps, will accompany the expedition.
* * * * * * *
By command of Brigadier General E. W. Hinks:
SOLON A. CARTER,
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
James River, May 12, 1864 - 6 p. m./
(Via Fort Monroe, 4 p. m. 13th. Received 6.50 p. m.)
Honorable GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy:
No information from Richmond. Guerrillas keep contrabands from coming in. No change of situation unless the army moves forward this morning its line between Point of Rocks, on the Appamattox, and Trent's Reach, on James River. Raining last night and to-day.
S. P. LEE,
Rear-Admiral, U. S. Navy.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, N. C., May 12, 1864.
Major R. S. DAVIS,
A. A. G., Hdqrs. Dept. of Va. and N. C.:
MAJOR: During the movements of our army in Virginia I fancy that the commanding general will have but little time to devote to thinking of the portion of his command in North Carolina. It may be gratifying to him, however, to hear that up to this time we have all been able to hold our own, and now that the pressure is a little over i shall devote myself to getting my forces into the shape in which they can be best used. The North Carolina regiments I shall establish at Beaufort and Morehead, a few companies at Macon. The families can be established at Beaufort. The town is protected by a line of entrenchments, and as soon as they feel secure they will take heart and, I trust, become effective. The matter of pay for these regiments I have arranged by getting the agent of the Treasury Department to loan to our paymaster an amount sufficient to pay them off, and thus they will be able to provide for their families. These men have not been paid for six months. The payment will be made to-day at Morehead.
I take if for granted that the calculations made for the army in Virginia are made upon the supposition that all orders tending to a re-enforcement of that army will be strictly obeyed. I shall therefore not hold the men who are ready to be transferred to the Navy, but forward them at once, There will be nearly 300 of these, all much needed to recruit our naval forces. Another dead weight is