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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 and fifty other prisoners, and killing at least two colonels and many privates. His conduct was brilliant in the extreme. I do not know our exact loss, but fear that Gen. Hooker has lost considerably on our left. I learn from the prisoners taken that the rebels intend to dispute every step to Richmond. I shall run the risk of at least holding them in check here, while I resume the original plan. My entire force is undoubtedly inferior to that of the rebels, who will fight well; but
William Blaisdell (search for this): chapter 7
ich were promptly placed at my disposal by that experienced and gifted soldier; but, as I had no duty on which I could employ those arms of service, and as I was confined for room in the exercise of my own command, I requested that he would despatch a party to reconnoitre and observe the movements of the rebels to the rear of my left. This was executed to my satisfaction. It was now reported to me that the skirmishers to the right had reached the Yorktown road, where word was sent to Col. Blaisdell to proceed with the Eleventh Massachusetts and Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania regiments cautiously down that road, to destroy any rebel force he might find, and break down any barrier the enemy might have thrown up to check the advance of our forces in that direction, and when this was executed to report the fact to the senior officer with the troops there, and on his return to send me word of the result of his mission. This was done, and word was sent to me through Adjt. Currier, of the Ele
Joseph Hooker (search for this): chapter 7
al Hooker's official report. headquarters Hooker's division, Third army corps, Williamsburgh, V Very respectfully, your obedient servant, Joseph Hooker, Brigadier-General Commanding Division. all others and to proceed to the support of Gen. Hooker, already engaged. With difficulty and much under fire. Having quickly consulted with Gen. Hooker and received Gen. Heintzelman's orders as te into action the remnants of the brave men of Hooker's division were passed, and our regiments promr intrepidity, and enabled Maj. Wainwright, of Hooker's division, to collect his artillerists and reh to bear testimony to the splendid conduct of Hooker's and Kearney's divisions, under command of Geom Yorktown. Here again the divisions parted, Hooker going to the left and Smith ad vancing to the there was no surprise when a messenger from Gen. Hooker announced that all the forts on the left hahose brigade of Kearney's division had come to Hooker's support, had discovered the enemy's departur[9 more...]
Joe Johnston (search for this): chapter 7
were but foul aspersions. Victors were never more charitable and forbearing. After looking well about the town, Gen. McClellan, having chosen for his quarters a large brick house on the main street, said to have been recently occupied by General Johnston, he there established his staff, and himself returned with one or two aids to the battle-field. Graham's brigade and others soon arrived, and before evening thousands of Federal troops were encamped in and about the city, while a reconnoiwelve pieces of artillery and nine hundred prisoners. The fight lasted from seven o'clock to eleven o'clock A. M. The troops engaged on our side consisted of a portion of the division of Major-General Longstreet. An official letter from Gen. Johnston states that a handsome affair took place at Williamsburgh on Monday. The enemy attacked our rearguard in great force, and were driven back to the woods about a mile. Our latest information is complete upon the main points of the result of
C. C. Gilbert (search for this): chapter 7
The reconnoissance during the night, and the early patrols of the morning, revealed the enemy retiring, and Gen. Heintzelman in person ordered into the enemy's works (which our pickets of the One Hundred and Fifth Pennsylvania regiment, under Lieut. Gilbert, were entering with Gen. Jameson) the Fourth Maine regiment to erect thereon its standard and take possession in full force. I have to mark out for the high commendation of the General-in-Chief Gens. Jameson, Birney, and Berry, whose soldiertitude, to the success of those more immediately engaged, and would have formed a means of subduing all opposition should the enemy have resisted on the following day. A picket of one hundred and twelve men of the One Hundred and Fifth, under Lieut. Gilbert, were the first to enter the enemy's works, followed by the Fourth Maine, of Gen. Birney's brigade. Col. A. A. McKnight, One Hundred and Fifth Pennsylvania, Col. Alexander Hays, Sixty-third, and C. T. Campbell, Fifty-seventh, are in my fir
L. P. Graham (search for this): chapter 7
as 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 co to the centre fort, called Fort Page, we found it occupied by Neal's (late Birney's) Twenty-third Pennsylvania regiment, which, having come up in the night, with Graham's brigade, of Casey's division, as a reserve to Gen. Hancock, had early scoured the field. The great fort was much damaged by our artillery fire. Only a siegestreet, said to have been recently occupied by General Johnston, he there established his staff, and himself returned with one or two aids to the battle-field. Graham's brigade and others soon arrived, and before evening thousands of Federal troops were encamped in and about the city, while a reconnoissance as far as the Chicka
George C. Strong (search for this): chapter 7
in that engagement and in this it has lost fifteen officers and one third of its members, it is still ready to devote the balance to support our flag. I ask that Congress will, by special resolution, authorize this regiment to place upon its flag, Bull Run and Williamsburgh, and the Fortieth New-York or Mozart regiment, Williamsburgh. I trust that the General commanding division, seeing how well two of my regiments carried out his orders, will never hesitate to rely on my brigade. Lieut.-Col. Strong, Thirty-eighth New-York regiment, deserves special mention for his gallant conduct. His wound, although disabling him, I am happy to report is not mortal, and he will be soon returned to his regiment. I am yours truly, D. B. Birney, Brigadier-General. Lieut. W. G. Sturgis, A. A. General, Kearney's Division. Letter from General Kearney. headquarters Third division Heintzelman's corps, camp Berry, Barhamsville, May 10, 1862. To His Excellency Gov. Morgan: sir: It is with
Wainwright (search for this): chapter 7
om it despite the skill and activity of my sharp-shooters in picking off the rebel gunners. Volunteers were now called for by my gallant Chief of Artillery, Major Wainwright, to man the battery now in position, when the officers and cannoniers of Osborne's battery sprang forward, and in the time I am writing, had those pieces wellunteers to beat back the enemy's skirmishers, now crowding on our pieces. This duty was performed by officers and men with superior intrepidity, and enabled Maj. Wainwright, of Hooker's division, to collect his artillerists and reopen fire from several pieces. A new support was then collected from the Fifth New-Jersey, who, terrlled and wounded, which, though not impairing our future efficiency, was a severe loss for the few engaged. Our batteries were on the field but not required, Maj. Wainwright, of Hooker's division, having by much personal effort resumed the fire of several pieces; but Capt. Thompson, U. S.A., chief of my division of artillery, in t
Alexander Hays (search for this): chapter 7
elves the sufferers in loss, they contributed, by steady and imposing attitude, to the success of those more immediately engaged, and would have formed a means of subduing all opposition should the enemy have resisted on the following day. A picket of one hundred and twelve men of the One Hundred and Fifth, under Lieut. Gilbert, were the first to enter the enemy's works, followed by the Fourth Maine, of Gen. Birney's brigade. Col. A. A. McKnight, One Hundred and Fifth Pennsylvania, Col. Alexander Hays, Sixty-third, and C. T. Campbell, Fifty-seventh, are in my first brigade, commanded by Gen. Jameson. In conclusion, your Excellency, it is not by her noble regiments Pennsylvania was distinguished in the last great battles. I have to bring to your notice, and to that of the people of the State, that the second brigade of my division was commanded by a Pennsylvanian, Gen. Birney. This officer displayed coolness and courage, and brought into the field the talents which distinguished
t of the two armies is expected. The loss on both sides in the fight of yesterday was very heavy, ours believed to be not less than one thousand up to twelve o'clock. The enemy had up to that hour been driven back three times to within range of their gunboats. Later At a late hour last night we learned some further particulars of the fight on Monday. Gen. Early is mortally wounded. Gen. Anderson, of North-Carolina, we believe, killed. Col. Mott, of Mississippi, killed. Gen. Raines, slightly wounded. Capt. Echols, of Lynchburgh, slightly wounded. Capt. Irwin, of Scales's North-Carolina regiment, wounded. The First Virginia regiment was badly cut up. Out of two hundred men in the fight, some eighty or ninety are reported killed or wounded. Colonel Kemper's regiment suffered terribly, though we have no account of the extent of the casualties. We learn that Gen. Magruder has been for several days quite sick at Westover, on James River. The enemy had n
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