HEADQUARTERS THIRD CORPS, June 26-4 p. m.
I think I can hold the intrenchments with four brigades for twenty-four hours. That would leave two brigades disposable for service on the other side of the river, but the men are so tired and worn-out that I fear they would not be in a condition to fight after making a march of any distance. * * *
S. P. HEINTZELMAN,
General R. B. MARCY.
Telegrams from General Heintzelman, on the 25th and 26th, had indicated that the enemy was in large force in front of Generals Hooker and Kearny, and on the Charles City road (Longstreet, Hill, and Huger), and General Heintzelman expressed the opinion, on the night of the 25th, that he could not hold his advanced position without re-enforcements.
General Keyes telegraphed:
As to how many men will be able to hold this position for twenty-four hours, I must answer, all I have, if the enemy is as strong as ever in front, it having at all times appeared to me that our forces on this flank are small enough.
On the morning of the 27th the following dispatch was sent to General Sumner:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, June 27-8.45 a. m.
General Smith just reports that six or eight regiments have moved down to the woods in front of General Sumner.
R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff.
General E. V. SUMNER, Commanding Second Army Corps.
At 11 a. m. General Sumner telegraphed as follows:
The enemy threaten an attack on my right, near Smith.
At 12.30 p. m. he telegraphed:
Sharp shelling on both sides.
At 2.45 p. m.:
Sharp musketry firing in front of Burns. We are replying with artillery and infantry. The man on the lookout reports some troops drawn up in line of battle about opposite my right and Smith's left; the number cannot be made out.
In accordance with orders given on the night of the 26th, General Slocum's division commenced crossing the river to support General Porter soon after daybreak on the morning of the 27th; but as the firing in front of General Porter ceased the movement was suspended. At 2 p. m. General Porter called for re-enforcements. I ordered them at once, and at 3.25 p. m. sent him the following:
Slocum is now crossing Alexander's Bridge with his whole command. Enemy has commenced an infantry attack on Smith's left. I have ordered down Sumner's and Heintzelman's reserves, and you can count on the whole of Slocum's. Go on as you have begun.
During the day the following dispatches were received, which will show the condition of affairs on the right bank of the Chickahominy:
JUNE 27, 1862.
General Smith thinks the enemy are massing heavy columns in the clearings to the right of James Garnett's house and on the other side of the river opposite it. Three regiments are reported to be moving from Sumner's to Smith's front. The arrangements are very good, made by Smith.
W. B. FRANKLIN,
Colonel A. V. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General.