War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0313 Chapter XLVIII. ENGAGEMENT AT PETERSBURG.

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the inter line strong or weak, and of what character? Seventh. What was the character of the inner line of defenses? Eight. Was General Kautz with you in front?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Q. A. GILLMORE,

Major-General.

IN THE FIELD, NEAR HATCHER'S, VA.,

June 18, 1864.

Major General Q. A. GILLMORE:

DEAR SIR: In reply to your communication of this date, I have to state that I led the advance of General Kaut'z attack on the left of the fortifications in front of Petersburg on the 9th instant. I estimated the strength of the force on the outer line in my immediate front at about 1,500 infantry and three pieces of artillery. On my right was a force of artillery and infantry whom I was informed by prisoners and intelligent wounded officers to be commanded by Wise in person. The defenses in the immediate front of the town consisted of a stockade with earth-work in front, very strong, and on my approach about 150 yards a most murderous fire of artillery and infantry was opened upon me. Had the enemy reserved this fire for a few minutes longer the most fearful results to my command would have ensued, and I was compelled to fall back under cover immediately. After falling back about 1 mile I found in a house about 14 wounded soldiers and citizens. I interrogated each separately. They were in different rooms and could not hear the conversation in the adjoining rooms. I found in summing up their statements the following results, viz, taht Beauregard had a large force (they could not state the number) between the Appomattox and Swift Creek, and that the town of Petersburg could be and was re-enforced by him. Heard engines whistling often and the rolling of cars. My first impression was that the town could be early entered, but after falling back (and at about 1.30 p. m.) I concluded that it would take 8,000 of 10,000 men to take and occupy Petersburg. No officers superior in rank to me was with me in leading the attack with the First Battalion. I reached the other works in front of the town at 11.30 a. m. by the watch.

I am, general, with high respect, your obedient servant,

SAMUEL P. SPEAR,

Colonel Eleventh Pennsylvania Cav., Commanding Brigade.

I fully concur in the above statement, excepting the number of guns and men specified as being in the outer line of works. I was not in a position to state how many of either were located there.

GERARD REYNOLDS,

Captain, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry.

The above statement of Colonel Spear I fully connect in. The fact stated occurred under my personal observation. I was, however, but guns in the outer works, although it is possible there were others there.

WILLIAM BAILEY,

Captain, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry.

From personal observation I concur in the above statement of Colonel Spear. I could not say exactly how many guns were in the