HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION,
November 1, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel C. ROSS SMITH:
My picket line has been advanced to within carbine range of the enemy's. My right is near Beverly Ford and the line extends past Bowen's house, parallel to the river to half way to Kelly's Ford, where it deflects and strikes the road from Bealeton to Morrisville.
General Merritt's last report says his pickets extend 5 miles from Elk Run toward Morrisville, and nothing has been seen or heard of the enemy. I expect to hear from him soon. I have instructed him to examine Kelly's. There is nothing toward Morrisville, save guerrillas. A negro, who left Richmond on the 23d, says:
The enemy is concentrating at Culpeper. Four thousand came to that point in the cars with him.
The enemy does not show so strong as yesterday.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
November 1, 1863-9. 30 a. m.
General A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Chief of Staff, Hdqrs. Army of the Potomac:
We have 400 feet of canvas train, with balks and chess on wagons; 900 feet more with balks, chess, and wagons complete; in all, 1. 300 feet of canvas pontoon train. Six hundred feet of wooden bridge, with balks and chess in the boats, complete in rafts for towing; 400 feet more of wooden bridge, with balks without cheese, ready for placing on trucks or on rafts; 1,000 feet in all of wooden bridge train, and the trucks and wagons for all. We have no pontoon train teams on hand, all having been sent to the front on 30th instant by order, and only about fifteen teams available for engineer tools, forage, &c.
H. W. BENHAM,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
November 1, 1863-2. 15 p. m.
Brigadier General H. W. BENHAM,
Commanding Engineers, Washington, D. C.:
The major-general commanding directs that you send immediately by railroad twenty wooden pontoons, with bridge material complete, trucks, and all the corresponding equipage.
One good sized company of the Fiftieth New York Volunteers, say not less than 50 men, should accompany the pontoons. They will take precedence of everything on the road, and will halt at Catlett's Station. The animals and harness for them need not be sent.
The following is a memorandum of the chief parts required: Twenty pontoon wagons, loaded; 2 abutment wagons, loaded; 1 long balk wagon, loaded; 9 cheese wagons, loaded; 12 army wagons, and a liberal supply of cordage.
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.