General Hampton's Cavalry Legion; we then being surrounded on our front, rear, and left by overwhelming forces of rebel infantry, cavalry, and artillery. I then received the order to take the advance and cut my way through to the plank road, which was accomplished by taking a southeasterly course through an almost impenetrable woods and swamp, passing the enemy on either flank, enforcing a passage. I reached the plank [road] at Proctor's Tavern about 5.30 p.m. I then marched toward our lines, passing our pickets, and reaching the headquarters of Captain Crowninshield at 11.30 p.m. where we bivouacked until 5.30 June 30. then marched to our old camp on the James River.
Inclosed please find a list of casualties* of my command which is very heavy. Up to this hour, 6 p.m. men supposed to have been killed or captured are constantly coming in.
In closing my report it gives me great pleasure to state that my acting assistant adjutant-general, Lieutenant J. Frank Cummings, of the Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry, performed his duty nobly, gallantly; and ever ready at all times and with but six hours' sleep in severely-two consecutive hours, he never faltered. My orders were conveyed with promptness and dispatch, which all proves that this young and faithful officer is fully worthy and fully competent for a better and higher position than he now occupies.
I deeply deplore the loss of the brave and gallant officers and men who fell in the struggle on the 29th, and whilst I feel their loss is irreparable, it is a consolation to know that they died at their post firmly, willingly, and unflinchingly, carrying out each and every order received by them. Their many virtues will be regarded in another field brighter and fairer than their last on earth. Requiescat in pace.
I am, sir, with high respect, your obedient servant,
SAMUEL P. SPEAR.
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Captain M. J. ASCH.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Numbers 285. Reports of Major J. Stannard Baker, First District of Columbia Cavalry, of operations June 15-30.
HDQRS. FIRST DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CAVALRY.
Near Point of Rocks, Va., June 17, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the detachment of First District of Columbia Cavalry, under my command, in the recent affair before Petersburg:
The command left camp near Point of Rocks about 12 o'clock on the night of the 14th. We participated in the skirmishers and engagement of the Cavalry Division during the 15th and 16th before Petersburg, and returned to our former encampment near Point of Rocks on the morning of the 17th.
The casualties of my command during the two days above mentioned are as follows, viz: Killed, 4; wounded, 10.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. STANNARD BAKER.
Major, Commanding Detachment.
Lieutenant Colonel E. J. CONGER,
Commanding First District of Columbia Cavalry.
*Not found, but see table embodied in Kautz's report, p. 733.