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NP: June 14, 1864 Petersburg Daily Express: NC Papers on the First Battle of Petersburg, June 9


The Raleigh [NC] Progress, of Saturday [June 11, 1864], says:

The Yankees made a bold attempt to sack the “Cockade City” on Thursday [June 9, 1864], but the gallantry of the militia and the vigilance of General [Pierre G. T.] Beauregard, thwarted their plans and sent them howling back towards the James river. We have not yet the particulars of the fight, but the loss sustained by the city militia—six killed and thirty wounded—attest the fact that the struggle was sharp and desperate, and that these Reserves acquitted themselves admirably. The skirmishing was on the outskirts of the city, and our small force that first encountered the enemy was pressed back by overwhelming numbers, but reinforcements came up in time to prevent the vandals from entering the city.

The force that made the effort to dash into Petersburg on Thursday consisted of cavalry, we suppose, and was thought to be three or four thousand strong.1

The Goldsboro [NC] State Journal [of June 11, 1864?] says:


The telegraph night before last and yesterday [probably June 9 and 10, 1864] furnishes all the intelligence we have been able to collect in reference to the daring attempt of the Yankees to capture Petersburg. We may have further details before we go to press. While we give the gallant militia of Petersburg full credit for the heroic manner in which they met the vandals and checked them, we feel by no means like complimenting the military authorities of that immediate neighborhood in allowing themselves to be surprised by a force of five thousand men. What would be said if Gen. Whiting had been there, or if Gen. Bragg “had been on guard.”—More vigilance is needed.

Our co[n]temporary is mistaken as to the surprise of the military. Under the circumstances, the military did all that men could do, and did it promptly. At a more appropriate season, we will establish the fact to the satisfaction of every unprejudiced mind. The criticism of our co[n]temporary affords us an opportunity to state, however, and we do it very cheerfully, that such reinforcements have now arrived and such dispositions have been made, as to offer the enemy a resistance worthy of any effort he may make, should he come again. We can assure him that another attempt will meet with not a more gallant resistance than was offered Thursday [June 9, 1864]—for that were impossible—but it will be much more formidable as regards numbers.2

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  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: In addition to Kautz’s Division of Cavalry, there was Union infantry under Quincy Gillmore.
  2. “Petersburg.” The Daily Express (Petersburg, VA). June 14, 1864, p. 2 col. 2
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