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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March Comes in Like a Lion- Col. Spear at Tunstall's

Col. Samuel P. Spear

Report of Col. Samuel P. Spear, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, commanding Cavalry Brigade.

Near Williamsburg, Va., March 4, 1864.

SIR: In accordance to instructions received from the colonel commanding, I formed my brigade, leaving one squadron at Gloucester Point and one squadron at Lebanon Church and vicinity, also the pickets and a relief, in all about 800 effective men, in front of Fort Magruder, at 11 o'clock p. in. on the 1st instant, and proceeded in  the place in column assigned me to New Kent Court-House, at which point I arrived at 7.30 a. m. on the morning of the 2d instant. Resting till 11 o'clock a.m., I proceeded with 300 men to Tunstall's Station, on the Richmond and West Point Railroad. Here I found the enemy's pickets had been drawn in the previous night. I destroyed the railroad track, some cars, the switches, culverts, depot store-houses, a large and valuable saw-mill, & c., all of which were of great value and use to the enemy.
Small detachments were also sent out in different directions and continued until the advance of General Kilpatricks command was found, when all returned to New Kent, covering his rear, when found, which was at a point near the White House, on the morning of the 3d instant. My command encamped at New Kent on the nights of the 2d and 3d, and took up the march for Williamsburg on the morning of the 4th, arriving at Fort Magruder and reporting to the commanding officer at 4 p.m.
At White House and vicinity 12 prisoners were captured and brought in, and on my return the notorious Robert Corton, a well-known guerrilla, was pursued near Six-Mile Ordinary, and killed in attempting to make his escape. inclosed I forward papers found upon his person, which are of the most treasonable character.
My command will be ready in a day or two for any duty or emergency.
I am, sir, with high respect, your obedient servant,
Col. Eleventh Pennsylvania Vol. Cavalry, Comdg. Brigade

Commanding Fort Magruder.


Yorktown, Va., March 5, 1864.

Most respectfully forwarded.
I gladly bear testimony to Colonel Spears cheerful and hearty cooperation throughout the recent expedition. He omits the mention in his report of the destruction of a new steam engine in the saw-mill which he destroyed. This alone was a loss to the enemy which he cannot easily replace.
Colonel, Commanding.

Photograph of Col. Spear from The Photographic History of The Civil War In Ten Volumes, Vol. 10, the Review of Reviews Co. 1911

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