Colonel Spears on Richmond, which he carried to the rebels and frustrated the design. In a short time the drums beat, and the men marched to an open space on the outside of the Fort, formed in two lines about one hundred yards apart, the batteries forming across the end, leaving it three sides of a hollow square, with the end open toward the river. At eleven o'clock the prisoner was brought from the Fort, in a wagon carrying a coffin. He was accompanied by a minister. As they neared the place of execution, he gazed around, apparently indifferent. The wagon drove into the space and stopped; the minister got out, when the prisoner, though his hands were shackled, jumped over the side nimbly and took his position beside the coffin; the sentence was then read, after which the firing party that had accompanied the wagon, walked up and faced the prisoner, about three rods distant. He then knelt with the minister in prayer for a few minutes. An officer then took a white handkerchief and folded it over his eyes; the prisoner then, by his own wish, took off his coat, leaving his breast bare save a white shirt. After shaking hands with the chaplain and officers, he seated himself comfortably on the coffin, and all withdrew to a short distance. The word was given, “Ready! Aim! Fire!” and the poor wretch threw up his hands, and fell back across the coffin. I rode up to see him; not a move was discernible after the volley; it seemed as if every shot took effect; his shirt was riddled, but not a stain of blood was to be seen. He was a brave man; must have been to meet death so coolly. Pity he had not died in action, that his friends and family might revere his memory! This is evening, and I am writing this on some boxes of cartridges, by the fire out in the open air, and the wind keeps my candle flickering. The transports have come back and landed the troops on the other side of the river, and we are going to-morrow, report says, back to Stevensburgh, by the way of Port Conway.
New-York Tribune account.
Washington, Saturday, March 5, 1864.The much talked of raid by General Kilpatrick has ended with failure as to the main result intended to be accomplished, but with success in cutting the railroads between Lee's army and Richmond, and the destruction of much property, stores, etc., and the actual shelling of Richmond. Starting on Sunday at three A. M., from camp with five thousand cavalry, picked from his own and Generals Merritt's and Gregg's divisions, he proceeded to the Rapidan, crossing at Ely's Ford. From thence the column. marched to Spottsylvania Court-House, which place was reached without encountering any of the enemy. From Spottsylvania Court-House to the end of his daring journey he was more or less harassed by the rebels, and frequently found that his lines had fallen in very unpleasant places. At the place last named the command was divided into different parties, who were to scour the country as they proceeded toward a common centre — Richmond. Every road was to be carefully scouted, that no concealed foes, even in small numbers, should be left behind, so as to concentrate and worry him. The expedition was a warlike tour, when all the fun, chickens, turkeys, geese, hogs, corn, oats, hay, horses, mules, negroes, graybacks, whether made of flesh or paper, that could be had, were to be had. They carried with them but two or three feeds each for their horses, and about as many days' rations for the men, the General being determined that for once the celebrated order, Subsist on the enemy's country, should be faithfully executed. On Monday, they reached the Virginia Railroad, and tore up the track in four places, destroying whatever property would render the road useless. At Frederickshall, on the Central Railroad, they came upon a court-martial, peacefully holding its sessions, and captured a colonel, five captains, and two lieutenants. General Lee had passed over the railroad on his way to his army but an hour before our men reached it. As they passed through the country in the most good-natured way, questioning as to whether any Yanks had been seen there lately, the inhabitants could not believe it was Lincoln's cavalry who were paying them a visit. The negroes generally were delighted, and many, in the presence of their owners, asked to be allowed to go along. A large number were thus gathered together, who cheerfully trudged along with the cavalry, delighted at gaining their freedom. Occasionally Union families were encountered who gave valuable information, and freely offered what they had to eat and drink. Leaving Frederickshall on Monday, they pushed on for Richmond — a detachment of five hundred men under Colonel Dahlgren keeping well to the right, in the direction of Louisa Court-House, while General Kilpatrick, with the main body, moved upon Ashland, both parties scouring the country thoroughly, and doing all possible damage. As the forces neared Richmond the two main parties began concentrating. Colonel Dahlgren was to move down to the right of Richmond, destroying as much of the James River Canal as possible. Then, taking the river road, was to cross, if possible, and enter the city from the south side and attempt the deliverance of the prisoners on Belle Isle. General Kilpatrick, with the main body, was to attack the city by the Brooks turnpike, simultaneously if possible with the other movement. It was hoped to reach the city on Monday night or early the following morning, when a partial if not a total surprise could be effected. Two of those fatalities which, more than once during this war, have snatched success from the very grasp of those who by their valor and daring