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NP: June 17, 1864 New York Herald: Rebel Accounts Of General Kautzs Demonstration On Petersburg

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

Rebel Accounts of General Kautz’s Demonstration on Petersburg.

The Richmond Enquirer has an account, from the Petersburg Express of June 10, of a raid on Petersburg by Kautz. It says: —

The enemy crept up behind the residence of Wm. A. Gregory, ascended to the roof, and, knocking off the shingles, were enabled not only to obtain an excellent view and ascertain the number of our forces, but, through the opening fired upon and killed many of our men behind the breastworks. The residence of Timothy Rives fell into the hands of the enemy, and he was taken prisoner. The enemy were almost in Petersburg. They could see its spires and steeples and many of the houses in the suburban limits; but again that Divine arm was bared, and our city was saved from the tread of the Northern invader.

Just at this opportune moment Graham’s Battery reached Reservoir Hill, and unlimbered in an instant, with a precision and rapidity which we have heard spoken of as being almost without parallel, and threw into the ranks of the enemy a shower of shell.

The advance on the city was on the Jerusalem plank road, coming into Petersburg from a southerly direction. At eight o’clock the engine and Court House bells were rung, and the citizens responded immediately, and manifested every disposition to defend their homes and firesides. Our breastworks on the Jerusalem road extended from the residence of Timothy Rives, on the left, to and across the road and beyond the house of Wm. A. Gregory, on the right. The enemy manœuvred for a while, thinking that our raw troops would abandon their position without a fight, but never were Yankees more mistaken. Our men, under Gen. Colson and Col. F. H. Arthur stood their ground like veterans. Finally the enemy charged and came down to our breastworks with a savage yell. When they were within forty paces of the fortifications the order to fire was given, and the Yankees fell back. A prisoner captured reported that the notorious Spear led the enemy.

The enemy after a while again came up, and with our one hundred and seventy men, all told, it was impossible to guard the centre, right and left. The order to retreat was therefore given, and in a few minutes the Yankees had possession of our works, and many of Petersburg’s best and gallant sons who fell in the fray, some killed and some wounded. Rev. Wm. A. Hall, Chaplain of the Washington artillery, was captured.

The Enquirer has a list of the killed, wounded and captured. Among them are many merchants and citizens of Petersburg, and boys, clerks in the stores.1

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


  1. New York Herald, June 17, 1864
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