Major-General Smith's division reached Barhamsville (18 miles), and Major-General Magruder's, commanded by Brigadier General D. R. Jones, the Diascund Bridge, on the Chickahominy road, on that day. Those of Major-Generals Longstreet and Hill marched from Williamsburg (12 miles) on the 6th. On that evening Major-General Smith reported that the enemy's troops were landing in force on the south side of York River, near West Point.
On the following morning the army was concentrated near Barhamsville. In the mean time it had been ascertained that the enemy occupied a thick and extensive woods between Barhamsville and their landing place. Brigadier-General Whiting was directed by General G. W. Smith to dislodge him, which was handsomely done. The brigade of General Hood and part of that of Colonel Hampton performed the service. You are respectfully referred for details to the accompanying reports.
Want of means of subsistence compelled the army to move toward Richmond, the divisions of Smith and Magruder taking the road by New Kent Court-House and those of Longstreet and Hill that along the Chickahominy.
On the evening of the 9th the army halted its left near the cross roads on the New Kent Court-House road and its right near the long bridges. In this position the York River Railroad supplied us from Richmond.
On the 15th the attack upon the battery at Drewry's Bluff by the enemy's gunboats suggested to me the necessity of so placing the army as to be prepared for the enemy's advance up the river or on the south side, as well as from the direction of West Point. We therefore crossed the Chickahominy to take a position 6 or 7 miles from Richmond.
That ground being unfavorable, the present position was taken upon the 17th.
Had the enemy beaten us on the 5th, as he claims to have done, the army would have lost most of its baggage and artillery. We should have been pursued from Williamsburg and intercepted from West Point. Our troops engaged, leaving Williamsburg on the following morning, marched but 12 miles that day, and the army in its march to the cross-roads averaged less than 10 miles a day. Had not the action of the 5th been at the least discouraging to the enemy, we would have been pursued on the road and turned by way of West Point.
About 400 of our wounded were left in Williamsburg because they were not in condition to be moved. Nothing else was left which we had horses to draw away. Five field pieces, found by the chief quartermaster at the Williamsburg wharf, were abandoned for want of horses and harness.
In the three actions above mentioned our troops displayed high courage, and on the march endured privation and hardship with admirable cheerfulness.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
Adjutant and Inspector General.