Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Ken Perdue.
The Late Attack on Petersburg.
Prisoners Taken by the Enemy — the Yankee Loss.
The Express has been enabled to obtain several items of interest, in connection with the late attempt of the Yankee General Kautz to capture Petersburg:
It is now well ascertained that he was greatly alarmed upon the appearance of a portion of Sturdivant’s Battery upon his left, when retreating, and that what at first was conducted with good order, soon became a general stampede. It is stated by persons residing in the county, that they conceived the idea that Gen. Beauregard was advancing in that direction with a very large force, and fears of capture and slaughter filled their minds to the exclusion of every other thought. In their retreat to reach Broadway or Point of Rocks, their rendezvous on the Appomattox, they made a detour of at least twenty-five or thirty miles, when but for their fear, a distance of eight or ten miles would have been all sufficient. They arrived at Broadway about eight o’clock p. m., when they stopped to feed and rest. They carried off four ambulances of wounded, and buried many of their dead in the woods. A lady in Prince George, at whose house they halted briefly for water, says they estimated their total casualties at about 150, and that Gen. Kautz was greatly chagrined at the idea that so many of his well-disciplined troops should have been killed and wounded by a parcel of “d—d militia” to use his own profane language.
The Rev. Mr. Hall, of the Washington New Orleans Battalion of Artillery, who was announced yesterday among the captured, made his escape at dark, and reached Petersburg at a late hour Thursday night. Mr. Hall sought an interview with Kautz’s Provost Marshal, and protested that as he was a minister of the Gospel, and a non-combatant only, he should not be held as a prisoner of war. The Provost agreed with him, but stated that he had not the authority to do so, and must turn him and his case over to Gen. Butler. Mr. Hall had heard of Butler’s tender mercies when he ruled in his own beloved Crescent City, and made up his mind at once that he would not go before the Beast, if it was possible to avoid it. Seizing the first favorable opportunity he made his way into our lines.
Mr. Hall states that the enemy captured about thirty prisoners — nearly or quite all of whom are members of the militia force and residents of this town.
We learn from Mr. Hall that the enemy lost two pieces of cannon instead of one.
We captured one, and the other became disabled, so that they were compelled to abandon it. The Adjutant General of Kautz was terribly excited about the loss of this last piece, and foamed and fretted at a great rate. Kautz was greatly disappointed as the result of the expedition, and seemed deeply mortified that he should have been defeated by militia.
We captured eleven horses from the enemy, and killed thirteen, which were found after the enemy retreated.1
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- Columbus Daily Enquirer, June 17, 1864 ↩