War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0834 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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HDQRS. SECOND CAVALRY BRIGADE, KAUTZ'S DIVISION,

Petersburg and Weldon Railroad, August 23, 1864.

SIR: I had the honor on yesterday to state that I was about being relieved by General Gregg's cavalry, and that I would report to General Kautz last evening or this morning. This was my expectation, but on being relieved I at once proceeded to get my orders (at headquarters were Major-Generals Warren, Humphreys, Meade, Parke, and several brigadiers), but instead of getting orders to return I received an order to "report to General Gregg for duty." I was ordered with my brigade to "proceed and attack Lee's cavalry" on Warren's left. I did so; found him about three miles west of Warren's headquarters, attacked him, and fought for three-quarters of an hour, with the following result: I had 1 man killed, 6 wounded, and 4 horses killed; captured some prisoners and completely routed his cavalry. (Private Christian Dritt, of Company I, killed.) I am kept going all the time; am ordered this morning on a reconnaissance to Stony Creek. I request that you will do all you can to keep me supplied with forage, as I wish to keep my horses in the best possible condition. I do not know anything of the Third New York Cavalry; have only seen one squadron; I have no idea of their whereabouts. I shall inform you daily of my doings. I wish to be informed where I shall send my reports-to General Warren, to General Gregg, or to General Kautz. Please be definite on this point, as shortly the monthly, tri-monthly, &c., will be due. Please answer by return of mail.

S. P. SPEAR,

Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade, Kautz's Division.

Captain M. J. ASCH, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

PLANK ROAD, August 26, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yours relative to the paymaster, but have not seen him. Yesterday was a sad day. I was, as usual, in command of the outpost, with orders to "hold it at all hazards." I was stationed on the railroad, five miles below Reams'. The enemy attacked me at 8 a.m. I held my position till the last moment, losing many men. I was isolated from any other command for two miles. I fought them, falling back slowly, till I lost 5 officers and 60 men. No assistance came to me till I reached the (General Gregg's) column. By this time a general engagement on front and flanks with a greatly superior force ensued. General Gregg fell back slowly, fighting all the time. Here the Second Corps was brought into requisition; subsequently the Ninth Corps. General Hancock's horse shot; General Gibbon's division did heavy execution. I had every man on duty. Lieutenant Neilson, Eleventh, killed; Lieutenant Wonderly, Lieutenant Clark, badly wounded; four lieutenants missing. The men fought nobly. The First District of Columbia Cavalry, under Major Baker, did admirably. Our horses are completely broken down. I have no relief; been on duty constantly night and day since I left; my men and horses cannot stand it much longer. Cannot the men be paid off or cannot we come in for one day for me. I am again ordered on picket on the outpost. I can stand anything myself, but my officers and men think it very hard. Don't let that paymaster go. The enemy attacked Warren at 7 this morning.

S. P. SPEAR,

Colonel, &c.

Captain M. J. ASCH, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.