Early on the morning of the 7th General Franklin had completed the disembarkation of his division, and had placed it in a good position to cover the landing place, both his flanks and a large portion of the front being protected by water.
Dana's brigade, of Sedgewick's division, arrived during the morning.
At about 9 a.m. a large force of the enemy appeared, consisting of Whiting's division and other troops, and between 10 and 11 they attacked the part of the line held by Newton's brigade. The action continued until 3 p.m., when the enemy retired, all his attacks having been repulsed. This affair, the most important in which the division had yet been engaged, was highly creditable to General Franklin and his command. For the details I refer to his report, which is herewith submitted. Our loss was 49 killed, 104 wounded, and 41 missing. Total, 194, which includes a large proportion of officers.*
Cavalry reconnaissance were sent out from Williamsburg on the 6th and 7th, and on the 8th General Stoneman moved with an advance guard of cavalry, artillery, and infantry to open communication with General Franklin.
As soon as our supplies had been received and the condition of the roads had become a little better, though still very bad, the advance of the remaining troops was begun, Smith's division moving on the 8th. On the 10th headquarters were at Roper's Church, 19 miles from Williamsburg, all the divisions which had moved by land, except Hooker's, being in the vicinity of that place.
We were now in direct communication with the portion of the army which had gone by water, and we began to draw supplies from Eltham.
On account of the small number and narrowness of the roads in this neighborhood movements were difficult and slow.
On the 15th headquarters and the divisions of Franklin, Porter, Sykes, and Smith reached Cumberland, which was made a temporary depot. Couch and Casey were then near New Kent Court-House, Hooker and Kearny near Roper's Church, and Richardson and Sedgewick near Eltham.
On the 14th and 15th much rain fell.
On the 15th ant 16th the divisions of Franklin, Smith, and Porter were with great difficulty moved to White House, 5 miles in advance. So bad was the road that the train of one of these divisions required thirty-six hours to pass over this short distance. General Stoneman had occupied this place some days before, after several successful skirmishes, in which our cavalry proved superior to that of the enemy. The reports of these affairs are appended.
About this time, with the consent of the President, two additional corps were organized, viz, the Fifth Provisional Corps, consisting of the divisions of Porter and Sykes and the reserve artillery, under the command of General F. J. Porter, and the Sixth Provisional Corps, consisting of the divisions of Franklin and Smith, under the command of General W. B. Franklin.
Headquarters reached White House on the 16th, and a permanent depot was at once organized there.
On the 19th headquarters and the corps of Porter and Franklin moved to Tunstall's Station, 5 miles from White House.
On the 20th more rain fell.
On the 21st the position of the troops was as follows: Stoneman's advance guard 1 mile from New Bridge; Franklin's corps 3 miles from New Bridge, with Porter's corps at supporting distance in its rear;
*But see revised statement, p.618.