HDQRS. SECOND CAV. Brigadier, KAUTZ'S DIV. OF CAV.
In the Field, June 10, 1864.
Major R. S. DAVIS,
SIR: In accordance with orders received from Major-General Butler last evening, through Colonel Shaffer, I have the honor to submit the following statement, viz: One the evening of the 9th instant as the cavalry command was returning to camp, and when the head of the column was on this side of the pontoon bridge, after crossing the Appomattox, Captain Clarke, an aide-de-camp to General Butler, came to me and said,"Who commands this column?" I answered, "Colonel Spear." Captain Clarke replied, "General Butler directs that all the prisoners captured to-day be sent to his headquarters at once to be there delivered to an officer of the guard waiting to receive them."
General Kautz having left the column and I being the senior officer present, at once and in the presence of Captain Clarke, sent Lieutenant Cameron, my aide, to Lieutenant Colonel George Stetzel, commanding Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry and to Major Kleinz, commanding Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry, with an order exactly repeating General Butler's order. At this time Lieutenant-Colonel Stetzel and Major Kleinz were in my rear, and all the prisoners were in either the Eleventh or the Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry column.
In order that there should be no mistake, I sent while Lieutenant Cameron was executing his orders, a trusty orderly, Private Conrad Reese, to Major Wetherill, who was at his quarters,informing him of the orders I had received. My aide, Lieutenant Cameron, also went to Major Wetherill, and said, "Major, Colonel Spear has received instructions from Major-General Butler to have all the prisoners turned over to-night." (See Lieutenant Cameron's report, second page.)
Lieutenant Cameron also reported the fact to Captain Asch, acting assistant adjutant-general to General Kautz (see Lieutenant Cameron's report). Major Wetherill was provost-marshal, and Lieutenant Bayard his assistant, both under direct orders to General Kautz. I could not order them but could only inform them of my instructions, also Captain Asch, as appears I did by Lieutenant Cameron's report. I most positively supposed the order was obeyed, and was greatly surprised on the morning of the 10th instant to find it was not. I have always carried out the orders of my superiors to the letter, and enforced the same upon all juniors, as the maintenance of discipline in all commands depends strictly and mainly upon this course.
I inclose reports* of Lieutenant Colonel George Stetzel, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry; Major C. Kleinz, Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry; Lieutenant J. Frank Cameron, Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry, aide-de-camp; Captain H. C. Clarke, aide-de-camp; Lieutenant W. T. Carnace, Eleventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry; Lieutenant W. E. A. Bird, Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
I am, sir, with high respect, your obedient servant,
SAMUEL P. SPEAR,
Colonel 11th Pa. Cav., Commanding 2nd Brigadier, Kautz's Div. of Cav.