HEADQUARTERS FIRST VERMONT CAVALRY,
Grove Church, Va., September 22, 1863.
Captain L. G. ESTES,
CAPTAIN: Major Wells, with a portion of this and the Eighteenth Pennsylvania Regiment, went several miles below Falmouth yesterday, but discovered no traces of the enemy this side of the river. He thinks the report made by Major Darlington the night before to be groundless. The major was so much frightened as to withdraw all of his pickets from Banks' and United States Fords, and fell back to Hartwood Church. Major Wells saw the pickets all replaced along the river, and reports everything quiet.
There is a family living 3 or 4 miles from here, consisting of the old people and five sons, four of the latter being in the rebel army. The fifth, a stout, able-bodied man, is at home, he being exempt from conscription by reason of being a shoemaker. The father is also a healthy, able-bodied man. One of the four sons belonging to the army is now lurking about home, engaged in bushwhacking and kindred pursuits, as I have good reason to believe.
There are other similar cases in this vicinity, and I would respectfully ask that I may be advised as to what course I shall pursue with cases of this nature.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Picket.
September 22, 1863.
Two officers and 15 men, in pursuit of a lost horse, came upon what they supposed to be a company of cavalry, which they were informed was a part of Mosby's force, near the house of one H. Mathews, on the road from Centreville to Gainesville. They were informed by a man named Settle that there was a regiment of cavalry encamped on the old Bull Run battle-field. My horses becoming unmanageable when the firing commenced, I lost 5 men with horses and equipments. My horses are too green to be serviceable as cavalry. I send this information that you may take such action as you deem necessary.
Washington, September 22, 1863-2 p. m.
Clarksburg, W. Va.:
General Burnside reports Sam. Jones, with 6,000 men, at Zollicoffer, between Bristol and Jonesborough, East Tennessee. If so, the country between there and Lynchburg must be undefended. Cannot your cavalry make a raid and cut the road? An attempt will, at least, drive Jones out of Tennessee.
H. W. HALLECK,