October 30, 1863.
I have received following telegram from Major Wetherill, commanding outpost, Suffolk:
Private John Wynton, alias Dunn, Irishman, Sixty-second Georgia Cavalry, got permission to cross the river to bring turkeys, and came in with horse, saddle, &c. Crossed South Quay Ferry at sunset yesterday. Colonel Griffin's headquarters at Murfrees Station, 4 miles from South Quay, on the railroad. Griffin's light battery is at Weldon with five or six companies between Garysburg and Weldon. Griffin's picket on Chowan and Blackwater start at Colerain, below Winton, and extend to South Quay. Here the zouaves have a picket of 4 men and officer, at William Lawrence's.
Wynton states that there is to be a grand ball at Vaughn's house, half a mile this side of Murfrees Station, on the 5th of November; officers are circulating tickets about Gatesville.
The major of the guerrillas who captured the boat at South Mills spends most of his time between Gatesville and Reddick's. Rylander's battalion of infantry is at Franklin.
The stations picketed by Griffin's men from South Quay to Colerain are as follows: South Quay, 1 sergeant, 4 infantry; 1 corporal, mounted. Cherry Grove, no pickets. Manning's Ferry, 1 corporal, 6 privates, 2 on post; the reserve station 4 miles back. Bartonville, 6 privates, 2 on post; reserve half mile back; three-quarters of the time no picket there. Flay Island, at fork of Chowan and Meherrin, 6 privates, reserve 3 1/2 miles back. Winton, 6 privates and sergeant. California, 3 1/2 miles below Winton, 6 privates and 1 corporal. Colerain, 17 miles below California, 6 privates and 1 corporal.
It will be observed that Waineoake Ferry, between Cherry Grove and Manning's Ferry, is not picketed, and Cherry Grive only occasionally.
The horse belongs to J. Wynton; cost him $900. One pair Colt's army pistols cost $200, his private property. Shall the man be retained here until hsi horse rests, and then sent to headquarters with guard, and can any arrangement be made that he could receive anything for his horse and arms?
I would send scout out to Gatesville to pick up officers distributing ball tickets, but it might interfere with the ball. Possibly the commanding general might desire some United States cavalry to attend on the night of the 5th of November.
Wynton suggests if our troops are to attend the ball that the force start early in the night, traveling rapidly to South Quay, sending 2 soldiers in citizens' clothes in buggy in advance, who, on arriving at the ferry at Lawrence, would call for the flat. The pickets collect the ferriage, and are anxious to bring passengers over. The flat could thus be secured and picketed captured.
GEO. W. GETTY,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
October 31, 1863-6. 30 p. m.
I learn from General Buford that General Merritt has gone to Elk Run (town), and Colonel Devin is on the road from Bealeton to Morrisville. They are both picketing to the front and toward Kelly's Ford and Ellis' Ford.
General Buford will advise you of everything of any importance that transpires. He knows nothing about the report of the advance of a brigade of rebel infantry toward Morrisville or elsewhere.
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.