On the 5th instant, in compliance with instructions, the division was united at Cockletown, and moved toward Yorktown over a marshy road, rendered that day almost impassable by heavy rain. At the junction of the Yorktown and Warwick Court-House roads our skirmishers became engaged with those of the enemy. Cavalry and artillery were moving in advance, and apparently close at hand and looming up in the mist and rain were extensive defenses of the enemy, from which we were immediately saluted with the fire of artillery. The skirmishers at once advanced to drive back the enemy's light troops, find out what was in front, and to cover the deployment of Morell's brigade, which soon formed on both sides of the road to resist attack or to advance should a favorable occasion offer. Weeden's battery was posted by Captain Griffin to shell the enemy, who as the mist rose were seen crowding the ramparts. Griffin's battery was joined to Weeden's. Shots from both were directed with judgment and skill, and the enemy's infantry were driven rapidly from their huts, tents, and ramparts to seek shelter in the timber in rear of their works. Our fire was warmly returned by the artillery of the enemy. This, though of far superior caliber, produced no effect upon our well served field pieces, which soon drove the artillerists to cover. The Sharpshooters, under Colonel Berdan, were busily engaged as skirmishers, and did good service in picking off the enemy's skirmishers and artillerists whenever they should show themselves.
Martindale, on coming up, was instructed to relieve Morell on the left and to ascertain what was on our left, and if artillery was required to notify me. The swampy character of the whole country rendered it almost impossible to move artillery, and until the ground was examined and cleared of the enemy by skirmishers I did not like to risk it unnecessarily off the road. The appearance of a large force on the left and the fire of artillery on Martindale's lines, together with his call, caused me to send him portions of Griffin's and Martin's batteries, leaving a portion of each with Weeden. These Captain Griffin posted so advantageously that their fire soon drove the enemy's infantry from their works and checked the fire of their artillery.
Butterfield and the cavalry were held in reserve to support either brigade.
A slight examination of the country from a house on the field and the growth of timber and brush convinced me that a marsh intervened between the works of the enemy on our left and Martindale's brigade, upon which a heavy fire of artillery and musketry had been directed, and that he dare not cross it to attack our accumulating force. The division camped on the ground which it had been directed in orders the previous day to occupy.
I respectfully refer to the reports of the brigade, regimental, and battery commanders, herewith submitted, for information of their special movements during the day. I am pleased to bear testimony to the admirable manner in which all commands were handled and posted till the inaccessible position of the enemy was discovered. All were exposed to fire from the enemy's artillery, and all bore themselves with a degree of indifference to be expected only of discovered. All were exposed to fire from the enemy's artillery, and all bore themselves with a degree of indifference to be expected only of veterans. I beg especially to call attention to General Martindale's reference to the reconnaissance of the Twenty-second Massachusetts, under Colonel Gove; also to Martin's Massachusetts battery. Like credit is due to Weeden's battery and the sections of Griffin's under Lieutenants Kingsbury and Hazlett. All were properly posted by Captain Griffin, admirably served, and with the infantry gave assurance that any duty hereafter required of them will be performed with satisfaction, and all which may be expected