success, with one or two rifled cannon. Force at Bernard's Mill small. A battalion of cavalry (Yankees) with one piece of artillery landed at Colerain, on Chowan, Saturday and Sunday, from gunboats. Some 50 marines were gathering up negroes and carrying them off. They had arrested several citizens there. Two companies of infantry should be located near this point, or placed at Winton, and cavalry sent there.
Beast Butler it is reported issued orders everything people had would be destroyed if they did not take the oath in his lines. Some have already made a sacrifice. Something might be done to keep them out of Gates County, by use of cavalry and regiment of infantry.
JOEL R. GRIFFIN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Petersburg, Va., December 15, 1863.
[General S. COOPER:]
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose a second telegram received from Colonel Griffin. I have ordered him to send all the cavalry force he has down into Gates County. The report I look upon probably as a little exaggerated; but doubtless these fiends, backed, or rather instigated, by such a beast as Butler is, will be set on to commit any outrage. I inclose copy of my telegram to Colonel Griffin.
I will not stand upon terms with these fellows any longer. If our cavalry force was sufficient, we could, in a measure, prevent these inroads. The only other alternative is to evacuate the country. Butler's plan, evidently, is to let loose his swarm of blacks upon our ladies and defenseless families, plunder and devastate the country. Against such a warfare there is but one resource-to hang at once every one captured belonging to the expedition, and afterward any one caught who belongs to Butler's department.
Let us come to a definite understanding with these heathens at once. Butler cannot be allowed to rule here as he did in New Orleans. His course must be stopped.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. E. P. [PICKETT.]
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
December 15, 1863.
Following dispatch received:
Two thousand of enemy's infantry, mostly negroes, and 50 cavalry are at Elizabeth City conscripting negroes and plundering generally.
JOEL. R. GRIFFIN,
Colonel, Commanding at Franklin.
I wrote concerning the above by courier.
GEO. E. PICKETT,