HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SUSQUEHANNA,
Chambersburg, Pa., November 13, 1863.
Colonel E. D. WONSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to inform you, for the information of the War Department, that I have just returned from the disaffected mining region of Hazelton and vicinity, having during the visit met and conversed with several of the coal operators and others interested in the affairs of that region.
Some of the collieries were stopped last week for the avowed purpose of compelling the General Government to relieve the mining regions from the operations of the draft. However, the prompt arrival of troops, ordered by Major-General Sigel, resorted matters to their previous status. The mines are in operation, but the loyal people there live in a state of terror, several brutal murders having been committed within a few weeks.
The operators whom I saw proposed this, that if they could be assured of the protection of the General Government until the work was accomplished, they would discharge the bad characters and employ new men, having eventually a body of men that could be controlled. It is supposed that it would take three months to carry out these desired reforms. If commenced, the troops must not be withdrawn until the work is thoroughly done, otherwise two-thirds of the anthracite region would stop sending coal to market.
I respectfully urge upon the Department to consider the propositions, and recommend that I be instructed to give the guaranties asked for by the operators and proceed to the work with the troops under my command.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. N. COUCH,
PICKET RESERVE, SECOND NEW YORK CAVALRY,
November `3, 1863.
Captain L. SIEBERT,
Asst. Adjt. General, 1st Brigadier, 3rd Div., Cav. Corps:
CAPTAIN: In pursuance to orders, I made as much show of the small force under my command as I thought might be safely done. I divided my reserve into two parts and moved with the first up the river to Morton's Ford, where the enemy continues to show himself in pretty strong force. He hardly noticed our arrival, but fired occasionally a few shots. I returned to the camping ground of last night shortly after 3 p. m. It is the opinion of the officers on that post that the enemy's reserves are not as large as they were yesterday, although their pickets are just as strong and as close together.
Captain Downing went to Mitchell's Ford with his command, and from there to Sisson's Ford. The enemy showed his strength here on Captain Downing's demonstration to cross. They had close to the river about one battalion of cavalry.
Toward night there has been pretty lively firing, but it has almost ceased at this time.
Your order for a field report could not be obeyed, as we had to send to the various posts, the farthest one of which is between 5