meritorious conduct in the late fight, and to display the fact that, although these regiments were not sufferers in the late engagement at Williamsburgh, having been detached by Gen. Heintzelman to guard the left flank, by their steady and imposing attitude, they contributed to the success of those more immediately engaged. And I assure you, sir, that with such material, commanded by such sterling officers, nothing but success can crown our efforts when the occasion requires. I have the honor to enclose the report of Gen. D. B. Birney, who commanded the noble brigade, of which these two regiments form a part. Gen. Birney commands two New-York and two Maine regiments. It is peculiarly appropriate, after having rendered justice to the regiments and Colonels, to bring Gens. Jameson and Berry to the especial attention of yourself and citizens at home, who look to them for noble deeds, to illustrate their annals; and I am proud to state that they have amply filled the full meed of anticipated distinction. Gen. Berry, charged with the left wing of our line of battle, evinced a courage that might have been expected of him, (when, as Colonel of the Fourth regiment of Maine volunteers, he nearly saved the day at Bull Run,) and also a genius for war and a pertinacity in the fight that proved him fit for high command — for he was most severely assailed on the left, and had most difficult rifle-pits and abattis to face and carry. Gen. Jameson, who commands the First brigade, (One hundred and Second, Sixty-third and Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania volunteers, and Eighty-seventh New-York,) forming the rear of the column on the march from camp, on the fifth inst., used vigor in bringing up his men, under every difficulty, and was with me under severe fire when he arrived, and gave guarantee of a resolution that promised success, in case daylight, remaining to us, he had been advanced to the attack of Fort Magruder, and those works which the enemy evacuated to us during the night, and which he was the first to enter at daylight. I have the honor, sir, to be your obedient servant,
McClellan's tribute to his troops.
Hooker's and Kearney's divisions, under command of Gen. Heintzelman, in the battle of Williamsburgh. Their bearing was worthy of veterans. Hooker's division for hours gallantly withstood the attack of greatly superior numbers, with very heavy loss. Kearney's division arrived in time to restore the fortunes of the day, and came most gallantly into action. I shall probably have occasion to call attention to other commands, and do not wish to do injury to them by mentioning them now. Had I had the full information I now have in regard to the troops above named when I first telegraphed, they would have been specially mentioned and commended. I spoke only of what I knew at the time, and I shall rejoice to do full justice to all engaged.
Geo. B. Mcclellan, Major-General Commanding.
Order of Brig.-General Couch.
General order no. 37. The Brigadier-General Commanding desires to express his thanks to the division for the heroic courage and fortitude displayed by them at the battle of Williamsburgh, Va., on the fifth inst. Gen. Peck, with his brigade, consisting of the Sixty-second New-York, Ninety-third Pennsylvania, One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania Fifty-fifth New-York, and Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania, had the good fortune to be in advance: and arriving on the battle-ground at a critical time, won a reputation greatly to be envied. Gen. Devens, with his brigade, hurried forward. The Second Rhode Island and Seventh Massachusetts were pushed to support Gen. Peck at a trying period of the fight, and were faithful to their trust. The Tenth Massachusetts was sent to the right to support Gen. Hancock, and did good service. The General Commanding deeply regrets the absence at Warwick of the Thirty-sixth New-York. Graham's brigade came up too late to share in the glory of the fight, but not too late to assure the Division-General that they were ready for any duty which soldiers could be asked to perform. Friends! we have gained the confidence of our country; let us in future battles, as in the last, show that we can face our rebel foes, and whip them, too. By order of
New-York evening post narrative.
Yorktown, Va., May 8, 1862.Amazed by the proportions and strength of the rebel fortifications at Yorktown, the Northern public could hardly have expected that at a point so near as Williamsburgh our army would encounter works of the same elaborate and formidable character, and meet a stout and protracted resistance on the part of the retreating enemy. The march to Williamsburgh, which began at an early hour on Sunday, the fourth instant, was made with much caution, and yet with a rapidity which quite astonished the fleeing foe. The prisoners, taken at one point and another upon the road, all expressed the greatest surprise at our hasty advance, “never dreaming,” as one remarked to me, “that we would so soon venture beyond Yorktown.” The weather has been dry for some days, and the roads were in tolerably fair condition. The