chooses its shepherd or chaplain. A refusal by an officer of the Executive Department to recognize the capacity and the rights of this chaplain in alike in violation of the rights of the Christian church and of the laws of Congress.
I have the honor to be, Your Excelleervant,
JNO. A. ANDREW.
Please give me your legal opinion whether the paymaster should have paid as demanded; and if yea, is it the duty of the Presented to order him to pay?
Washington, D. C., May 7, 1864-7.10 p. m.
General Peck is authorized to report to you for duty. We have no official reports from the Army of the Potomac since Wednesday;'s dispatch from General Grant announcing his crossing of the Rapidan. There is no telegraphic or railroad communication within thirty of forty of his headquarters. It is certain however that the Army of the Potomac and Lee's force came in collision on Thursday and an indecisive action was fought yesterday. The report of the tribune correspondent, published this morning and forwarded from here last night, is the substance of all that is known here at this hour. Many reports are in circulation of advantages on one side or the other, but are mere conjectures inventions. There will be no restriction upon the publication of transpiring events, and you shall be promptly notified of all that is known. A dispatch from General Butler, just received, reports him in position with his whole force, on the road between City Point and Petersburg, his expectations being thus far fully realized. Nothing for two days from Serman, who expected a battle to-day at Tunnel Hill. General Canby has been assigned to command the forces on Red River, and has gone forward. The reports received are not favorable to General Banks. We have no official intelligence of State having fallen back to Little Rock, but it is believed by Assistant Quartermaster-General Allen to be true. Major-General Foster has been assigned to command in the Department of the South, Gillmore being with Genral Butler.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
Washington City, May 8, 1864-7 a. m.
We have no official reports from the front, but the medical director has notified the Surgeon-General that our wounded were being sent to Washington and will number from 6,000 to 8,000. The chief quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac has made requisition for seven days" grain and for railroad construction trains, and states that