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[126] he must have written a very different dispatch; and it is not probable that they would have carried off, over the drenched and miry roads, more cannon than they could boast on the morning before the battle.1

Gen. Hooker reports a loss in this engagement of 338 killed, 902 wounded, and 335 missing, who of course were prisoners. Gen. McClellan makes our total loss during the day 456 killed, 1,400 wounded, and 372 missing; total, 2,228.2 Many of those prisoners, knowing that we had an overwhelming force just at hand, confidently looked for recapture during the night, and werely chagrined to find themselves deliberately marching toward a Rebel prison next day.

While the battle at Williamsburg was raging, Gen. Franklin's division, which had been kept on board the transports which brought it from Alexandria two or three weeks before, had been preparing to move from Yorktown up York river to West Point; where its 1st brigade, under Gen. Newton, landed unopposed next day.3 It debarked on a spacious, open plain on the west side of the York and its south-western affluent, the Pamunkey; no enemy appearing till next day. Meantime, Gen. Dana had arrived with a part of Gen. Sedgwick's division, but not debarled. Our gunboats took quiet possession of the little village at the Point, and hoisted our flag over it; no white man appearing to greet their arrival. During the night, one of our vedettes was shot through the heart, from the wood that fringed the plain whereon our troops were encamped,

1 On waking, next morning, to find the Rebels vanished and his forces in quiet possession of Williamsburg, Gen. McClellan forwarded the following more cheerful dispatches:

headquarters army of the Potomac, Williamsburg, Va., May 6.
Hon. E. M. Stantox, Secretary of War:
I have the pleasure to announce the occupation of this place as the result of the hard-fought action of yesterday The effect of Hancock's brilliant engagement yesterday afternoon was to turn the left of their line of works. He was strongly reenforced, and the enemy abandoned the entire position during the night, leaving all his sick and wounded in our hands. His loss yesterday was very severe. We have some 300 uninjured prisoners, and more than a thousand wounded. Their loss in killed is heavy. The victory is complete.

I have sent cavalry in pursuit; but the roads are in such condition that I cannot move artillery nor supplies. I shall therefore push the other movement most energetically. The conduct of our men has been excellent, with scarcely an exception. The enemy's works are very extensive and exceedingly strong, both in respect to their position and the works themselves. Our loss was heavy in Hooker's division, but very little on other parts of the field. Hancock's success was gained with a loss of not over 20 killed and wounded. Weather good to-day, but great difficulty in getting up food on account of the roads. Very few wagons have yet come up. Am I authorized to follow the example of other Generals, and direct names of battles to be placed on the colors of regiments? We have other battles to fight before reaching Richmond.

G. B. McClellan, Maj.-Gen. Commanding.

headquarters army of the Potomac, Williamsburg, May 6.
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
Every hour proves our victory more complete. The enemy's loss is great, especially in officers. I have just heard of five more of their guns captured. Prisoners are constantly arriving.

G. B. McClellan, Maj.-Gen. Commanding.

2 No official account of the Rebel losses In this engagement is at hand; but the Richmond Ditpatch of May 8th has a bulletin, professedly based on an official dispatch from Gen. Johnston, which, claiming 11 cannon and 623 prisoners captured, admits a Rebel loss of but 220; yet names Gen. Anderson, of North Carolina, Col. Mott, of Mississippi, Col. Ward, 4th Florida, and Col. Winm. H. Palmer, 1st Virginia, as among the killed; and Gen. Early, Gen. Rains, Col. Kemper, 7th Virginia, Col. Corse, 17th Virginia, and Col Garland, of Lynchburg, as wounded; adding: “The 1st Virginia was badly cut up. Out of 200 men in the fight, some 80 or 90 are reported killed or wounded. Col. Kemper's regiment suffered terribly, though we have no account of the extent of the casualties.” These items indicate a total loss of certainly not less than 1,000.

3 May 6.

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