captured the first line of the enemy's works around Richmond; advanced between the first and second lines of the enemy's works, but finding them too strong, did not venture an assault destroyed the bridges over the Chickahominy and on the Central Railroad, broke up its track for several miles, and finally joined the forces of General Butler on the James River. He reports that his whole loss is not over 350 men killed and wounded, and not more than 100 horses.
The latest date from General Grant and the Army of the Potomac is 6.30 yesterday morning. The Fifth and Sixth Corps had advanced during the night, and were to have attacked at daylight, but there was no sound of battle heard at headquarters nor any during the day. This movement it is believed compels Lee to retire by Lynchburg, and that he withdrew during Friday night. The rebel papers state that our forces had destroyed the bridge over New River and a large extent of railroad south of Lynchburg and a great quantity of supplies. Re-enforcements are going forward rapidly to General Grant, and it is believed that his whole loss will be filled up by Tuesday.
You are authorized to make this public as the present condition of military operations, so far as known at this Department.
EDWIN M. STANTON
Secretary of War.
(Same to Governor Morton, Indianapolis; Governor Yates, Springfield; Governor Stone, Davenport; Governor Lewis, Madison; Governor Bramlette, Frankfort.)
WAR DEPT., PROV., March GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 17.
Washington, May 16, 1864.
The following opinion of Honorable William Whiting, Solicitor of the War Department, is published for the information and guidance of all concerned:
Relative to the duty of provost-marshal of districts wherein the quota for a precinct shall not have been filled before the time designated for the draft therein by the President, and their authority to discharge drafted men from the military service, receiving in lieu thereof volunteers who are not offered as substitutes.
Opinion. - When the quota for a precinct shall not have been filled before the time designated for draft therein by the President the third section of the act of February 24, 1864, makes it the duty of the provost-marshal of such district "to make a draft of the number deficient therefrom." "All volunteers who may enlist after the draft shall have been ordered and before it shall be actually made, shall be deducted from the number ordered to be drafted "in such precinct. Substitutes may also be accepted "at any time previous to the draft," or before the time fixed for appearance for duty at the rendezvous.
There is no provision of the statute which authorizes the provost-marshal to discharge drafted men from the military service receiving in lieu thereof volunteers who are not offered as substitutes.
JAMES B. FRY,
CAIRO, ILL., May 16, 1864
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
I arrived at Cairo last night and shall proceed to Paducah, Ky., this morning where I find my presence is required, and will return to Cairo and await any instructions you may desire to send by telegraph.