War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0794 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

WHITE HOUSE, VA., June 27, 1863. I arrived herd last night. General Keyes' column reached Cumberland, 5 miles below here, last evening, and will be here this morning. The roads are very bad. After weeks of continual drought, we have had three days of continual rain, which has probably swollen the waters of the Chickahominy greatly. The enemy had just finished a battery here, with a railway turn-table in it, for a railroad monitor, which mounts four guns. It was to have been in position yesterday, but Colonel Spear tore up the track the day before. I am expecting news from him this morning.



Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.


GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose a copy of my written instructions to Colonel Spear, and his report. The result of the expedition intrusted to him I briefly stated in a telegraphic dispatch last evening. General W. H. F. Lee was found at his house, not recovered from his wound, but he was paced in an easy carriage and brought in. I had him examined this morning by my medical director, and, on the report of the latter, have directed him to be sent to the Chesapeake Hospital. Colonel Spear was satisfied that he could be brought in without danger or inconvenience to him, and my medical director thinks he will not be injured by the movement. He had a flesh wound in the thigh, the ball having passed entirely through it. Colonel Spear's conduct has been gallant and judicious. The enemy, consisting of 125 infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hargrove, of the Forty-fourth North Carolina, were covered by a breastwork or tete de pont, and made a spirited defense. One hundred and fifty of Colonel Spear's cavalry were dismounted, and stormed the work. Nine of the enemy were killed and about 15 wounded. Colonel Spear's loss, as I stated in my dispatch by telegraph, was 3 killed and 8 wounded. By crossing the Pamunkey, as I directed, he brought all his prisoners and the large number of animals and wagons and the other property safely in. He was specially instructed to allow no pillaging or destruction of private property. I do not intend that my command shall be dishonored by this too frequent violation of the rules of honorable warfare. My instructions were scrupulously carried out. Everything brought in was public property, and the amounts greater than I stated in my dispatch. The money (a little over $ 15, 000) belonged to the insurgent authorities. some of the bonds were issued on the 23rd instant, the very day Colonel Spear set out on his expedition. They have been turned over, with the other captured property, to the quartermaster of the corps, Lieutenant-Colonel [Thomas C.] Thomas. A large number of slaves (men, women, and children) followed Colonel Spear's train. As they are desirous of remaining, I shall set the men to work, and send the women and children to Fort Monroe.