had been repulsed. I have sent the Thirty-seventh Regiment to re-enforce the post, and shall proceed, as soon as I can obtain transportation, with Choate's battery and the Fifth Regiment, to join him. This leaves at City Point the Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry. A body of your troops are reported by contrabands to be landing at the White House. Will you send a regiment at once to City Point?
EDWARD W. HINKS,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
FLAG-SHIP AGAWAM, James River, May 24, 1864- 9 p.m. [Via Fort Monroe, 5 p.m. 25th. Received 6 p.m.]
Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy:
Otsego arrived to-day. Monitors practice at Howlett's battery. Enemy seem to have stopped working on it. Monitors also practiced yesterday to get range to protect right flank of army. Generals Meigs and Barnard here. No change in the situation. Monitors need fresh provisions.
S. P. LEE,
HDQRS. DEFENSES OF NORFOLK AND PORTSMOUTH, Portsmouth, Va., May 24, 1864-10.45 a.m.
Major J. S. GATES,
Bowers' Hill, Va.:
MAJOR: I am instructed by the general commanding to say to you that he does not see that any advantage will be gained by attacking the enemy at present. He grants you permission to go out a short distance beyond Suffolk with a small force of cavalry, in order to ascertain the force and whereabouts of the enemy, but does not wish you to bring on an engagement.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. L. McHENRY,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DEFENSES OF NORFOLK AND PORTSMOUTH, Portsmouth, Va., May 24, 1864-7.30 p.m.
The object of your reconnaissance is to obtain information as to the strength, position, and designs of the enemy. I have not force enough to occupy any position now occupied by the enemy, nor do I propose extending my lines. To fight simply because you know that there is any of the enemy in the neighborhood, without having any clear, well-designed object to obtain, is simply to exhaust the material that you may soon stand in need of. Your instructions are to avoid any unnecessary engagement.