rounding Captain Moore's encampment, about 6 miles below here, on this side of the river, and capturing, with the exception of 4 men and 2 horses, that portion of the command which was there. As soon as I received information of their approach, I immediately moved after them, but, on arriving at Cheod Creek bridge, found that they had captured my pickets there from the same company, and had forded the stream at that point, leaving a wagon which they had captured with the command. One Yankee was killed there by the picket. I am at a loss to account for the surprise, as I had only last evening, through my adjutant, cautioned Captain Moore to increased vigilance, from rumors that I had heard of a body of 35 armed deserters making their way through the country toward Washington. My scouts around Washington and citizens coming from below all report that no passing is now allowed by the Yankees, and that they are very busy making preparations for a raid from Plymouth and Washington, to concentrate at some point in the interior. A lady direct from Washington reports an increased force there; that they have 300 negro cavalry constantly drilling, and that they are very busy preparing for something, and, from what she could learn, were very nearly ready. I have applied, captain, to General Ransom, Colonel McKethan, and through Colonel Waddell for some infantry at this poin. I again post respectfully urge it. One of my companies picket 16 miles below here, on the other side of the river, one to 12 miles below on this side, and I have only one small company as a reserve here and as a support to the battery, and none to act independently. My men are very poorly equipped.
I inclose my returns.* Would have sent them sooner, but moved at daylight this morning, and have just returned. Hoping that I will be re-enforced, and most respectfuly urging it,
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
WHITE MILLS, ON DISMAL SWAMP,
[December] 19, [1863.]
Enemy have escaped me by river bridge, Pasquotank River. They were warned of my first advance to Gatesville. Their cavalry have gone to Norfolk, through Currituck County, N. C., the negroes, by Dismal Swamp Canal, to Portsmouth. They are on forced march. Last left South Mills this morning. My men are near the place. Nothing now ot be done but collect all hogs and drive them out, which is a cnsiderable item here; also bring out Colonel Hinton's guerrillas, which he requests. Enemy had at Elizabeth City 2,900 negroes and 500 cavalry. They hung Private Daniel Bright, of Company L, of my Sixty-second Georgia Regiment; hung him to a beam in a house; body remained suspended forty hours. Lieutenant Mundin's wife, with other ladies, were arrested, tied, and placed in jail at Elizabeth City, and carried in irons to Norfolk; even their feet tied. Negroes killed a child in Camden County, committing all other kinds of excesses.
JOEL R. GRIFFIN,