NP: June 14, 1864 Philadelphia Inquirer: The Spoils



in June 1864

Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Ken Perdue.

The Spoils.

The enemy left one twelve-pounder brass gun, caisson (chests full of ammunition), horses, harness and everything connected with a battery of artillery, in the hands of the Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry; they also left all their dead and wounded, numbering about one hundred and fifty, prisoners in our hands. We destroyed their tents and all camp and garrison equipage, with the exception of a few tents left for shelter for some wounded Rebels.

The Advance Toward the City.

After having accomplished our work effectually at the works just alluded to, the column was pushed on towards the city, (it then being in full sight), Col. SPEAR, or old “Spuds,” as he is familiarly called in the brigade, and his staff riding in advance of the column some distance, we arrived within less than one hundred yards of the city, when the enemy’s sharpshooters opened upon the Colonel and Staff, and at the same time firing upon the main column from a battery on the right flank. “Spuds,” however, with his usual daring, charged directly on at full speed, until he found it utterly impossible to get into town with the force he had up with him without a fearful sacrifice of life, consequently he wheeled the advance to the left about by fours, and marched back about fifty yards under cover of an embankment, and then waited orders from the General commanding division. The orders, when received, were to retire slowly, as it was very evident the enemy had been heavily reinforced from BEAUREGARD’S forces out of town. The trains could be distinctly heard coming into the city, and they were undoubtedly loaded with troops. The enemy followed up the rear of the column as we were marching away, with infantry, cavalry and artillery, for over ten miles, keeping up a constant fire upon us. Colonel SPEAR and staff, with Captain BAILEY, of the Eleventh, remained in the rear until all danger was passed, when they went to the front, and brought the column into camp about twelve o’clock the same night, without further molestation.

The Casualties.

The cavalry of this department have been doing splendid service since the opening of the campaign, and are constantly on the move.

Our loss was very slight, not exceeding fifty, killed, wounded and missing. Among the latter, I regret to state, is Captain GEO. D HART, of Company K, of the Fifth, a brave and efficient officer.

Great credit is due to General A. V. KAUTZ, Colonel S. P. SPEAR and their subordinate officers, for their gallant attack upon the strongly-fortified city of Petersburg.1

Note: This newspaper article is used with the permission of  All rights reserved.


  1. Philadelphia Inquirer, June 14, 1864


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