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infantry. I move Franklin's division, and as much more as I can transport by water, up to West-Point to-day. No time shall be lost. The gunboats have gone up York River. I omitted to state that Gloucester is also in our possession. I shall push the enemy to the wall. G. B. McClellan, Major-General. headquarters army of the ight have failed. Our gunboat flotilla has passed up the river, followed by large bodies of troops in transports. Several columns are moving rapidly along York River. We hope to come up with them before they can reach West-Point. Our army is in the finest condition and best of spirits. The rebel army is much demoralized dozen or so remain. High in the village are the old works of 1781. Through the plains on the southern approach deep gorges form natural moats; and across the York River lies Gloucester Point, with a scanty rear-guard just hurrying from its supporting works, and a yellow flag still fluttering from its hospital. To conclude, f
Doc. 7.-battle of Williamsburgh, Va. General McClellan's despatch. bivouac in front of Williamsburgh, May 5, 1862, 10 o'clock P. M. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War: after arranging for movements up York River, I was urgently sent for here. I find Gen. Jo Johnston in front of me in strong force, probably greater a good deal than my own. Gen. Hancock has taken two redoubts and repulsed Early's rebel brigade by a real charge with the bayonet, taking one colonel and a hundred mpton roads, and on each side of it was a cordon of redoubts extending as far as could be seen. Subsequently I found their number to be thirteen, and extending entirely across the peninsula, the right and left of them resting on the waters of the York and James Rivers. Approaching them from the south, they are concealed by heavy forest until the observer is within less than a mile of their locality. Where the forest had been standing nearer than this distance the trees had been felled, in ord
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 5. (ed. Frank Moore), Doc. 9.-the battle of West-point, Va. Fought May 7, 1862. (search)
y to capture a portion of the rebel mosquito fleet, which were brought into use for carrying our men from the transports to the shore, as the river here is too shallow for vessels drawing over six feet of water. During the night some of the rebel pickets made a sortie on one of our advanced videttes, and shot him through the heart. The news soon spread through the camp, and by daylight this morning, the plain, which takes in about a thousand acres of ground, running south-west from the York River, presented a scene such as I have never before witnessed. Long lines of men extended from left to right across the centre of the field, and squads of skirmishers stood marking, in dim outline, their forms against the heavy woods and underbrush which presents an unbroken front to us on every side, except that bounded by the river. Here the men stood for some time, ready to march at a moment's notice; but no foe appeared, and the men were permitted to return to their camps for the purpose
not be secured, and partly because such a movement was not consistent with the general plan of the campaign which had been decided upon. After the fall of Yorktown and the withdrawal of the great body of the rebel army, it was believed that the abandonment of Norfolk would speedily follow as a necessary consequence. When Gen. McClellan, therefore, on Monday after the fall of Yorktown, telegraphed to Gen. Wool asking for more troops, in order to make an effective pursuit of the rebels up York River, Gen. Wool declined to send any, on the ground that it might become necessary for him to take and hold Norfolk. On Thursday the little steam-tug J. B. White came in from Norfolk, having deserted from the rebel service. She had been sent to bring in a couple of rebel schooners from the mouth of Tanner's Creek; the officers in charge of her being Northern men, and having been long desirous of escaping from the rebel regime, considered this a favorable opportunity for effecting their obje
eneral Mahone's brigade (Huger's command) met them and gallantly drove them backwards again, although manfully attempting to regain the position lost the evening before. We are sorry to add that in this engagement the Third Alabama lost Col. Lomax and Adjt. Johnson, while the Twelfth Virginia, and Richmond Grays particularly, lost many valuable men. The Ninth Virginia did not act so well. The enemy were particularly active with artillery, and accurately shelled the ambulance train on the York River road. Operations along the line yesterday were not of a very important nature, the enemy being intent upon preparing for their main attack today, Monday. We are sorry to say that our officers suffered severely in the two days operations, and among others we would add Gen. Garland had three horses shot under him, and was severely hurt before relinquishing his command in the field. Gen. Pettigrew was killed, Col. Lomax, Sixth Alabama, Col. Hatton, Seventh Tennessee, and others, and as t
Doc. 25.-operations in York River, Va. Report of Lieut. Commanding Phelps. U. S. Coast Survey steamer Corwin, West-point, Va., May 8, 1862. dear sir: It gives me pleasure to inform you that during the recent important movements in YorkYork River, the Corwin has performed her full share. On Saturday morning, the fourth instant, we discovered that Yorktown and Gloucester Point were abandoned, which was instantly telegraphed to the flag — ship. The squadron immediately weighed and strizes and led up to West-Point, where we discovered the place to be abandoned, several partially-built gunboats and the York River light-boat on fire, and two regiments, that morning arrived from Richmond on their way to Yorktown, just leaving in theat about four thousand of the troops recently stationed at Gloucester Point (who had retreated up the north side of the York River, with the view of crossing at this place, and were prevented by our presence) were crossing the Mattapony River at Fraz
trenchments and powerful redoubts, defended by a numerous and desperate enemy, would have been madness. We had no hope of reenforcements. Besides, it was now too late for them to form a junction with us, either by the Rappahannock route or by York River, since they would be cut off inevitably. There was but one extremely perilous alternative. The army must fall back on James River. A hope was entertained that the enemy would be deceived into the belief that we designed to fall back to the W his rear, were the divisions of Gens. Longstreet, Magruder and Huger, and in the situation as it existed Saturday night, all hopes of his escape were thought to be impossible. The battle of Savage station. Six miles from Richmond, on the York River road, the enemy were in full force on Saturday night. During the night our pickets heard them busily at work, hammering, sawing, etc. The rumble of cannon-carriages was also constantly audible. Sunday, about noon, our troops advanced in the di
ences which would be likely to result from it, and urged upon him that he should send orders to Gen. McClellan that if he were unable to maintain his position upon the Chickahominy, and were pressed by superior forces of the enemy, to mass his whole force on the north side of that stream, even at the risk of losing much material of war, and endeavor to make his way in the direction of Hanover Court-House; but in no event to retreat with his army further to the south than the White House on York River. I stated to the President that the retreat to James River was carrying General McClellan away from any reinforcements that could possibly be sent him within a reasonable time, and was absolutely depriving him of any substantial aid from the forces under my command; that by this movement the whole army of the enemy would be interposed between his army and mine, and that they would then be at liberty to strike in either direction, as they might consider it most advantageous; that this move
ences which would be likely to result from it, and urged upon him that he should send orders to Gen. McClellan that if he were unable to maintain his position upon the Chickahominy, and were pressed by superior forces of the enemy, to mass his whole force on the north side of that stream, even at the risk of losing much material of war, and endeavor to make his way in the direction of Hanover Court-House; but in no event to retreat with his army further to the south than the White House on York River. I stated to the President that the retreat to James River was carrying General McClellan away from any reinforcements that could possibly be sent him within a reasonable time, and was absolutely depriving him of any substantial aid from the forces under my command; that by this movement the whole army of the enemy would be interposed between his army and mine, and that they would then be at liberty to strike in either direction, as they might consider it most advantageous; that this move