War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0359 Chapter XXIII. SIEGE OF YORKTOWN, VA.

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the front in charge of Brigadier-General Smith and Graham, I returned in this direction, sending in scouts from point to point to the left, but without a satisfactory result.

Later in the day Brigadier-General Peck, of Couch's division, was ordered far down to the left from Warwick Court-House with Brady's and McCarthy's batteries and three regiments, and discovered two other forts and a considerable body of rebels not far from the mouth of Warwick River. I was thus enabled in the first day to comprehend with tolerable clearness the position of the enemy from a short distance above Lee's Mill down to James River. He is in a strongly-fortified position behind Warwick River, the fords in which have been destroyed by dams, and the approaches to which are through dense forests, swamps, and marshes. No part of his line as far as discovered can be taken by assault without an enormous waste of life.

On the 6th I thoroughly reconnoitered my whole front, and in the evening directed Brigadier-General Smith to withdraw his brigades to the rear and right, and shortly after a similar order was received from Major-General McClellan. Smith's division is now, since the 7th, on and near the Yorktown road from near this place to the Four Corners. Grahama's line of battle is in the edge of the woods, a mile from here, and their pickets connect.

Brigadier-General Peck's brigade and two of West's batteries are now stationed on the irregular peninsula running down to Warwick River, and bounded on the right and left by Stony and Lucas Creeks. General Peck has been extremely active in that quarter, and has thoroughly studied his ground, and has thrown up some earthworks, which will be indicated on the map. The two division commanders, Couch and W. F. Smith, have exhibited continued zeal and intelligence.

Brigadier-General Graham's brigade has remained near its position of the first day, where General Graham has made good dispositions.

Colonel Brigg's brigade has been held mostly in reserve near these headquarters. A reconnaissance with one regiment (Colonel Wheaton's) was made on the left, and the other regiments have been active by detachments.

The morning of the 6th, Brigadier-General Hancock, with the fifth Wisconsin, Colonel Cobb and Sixth Maine, Colonel Burnham, Lieutenants Comstock, Bowen, and Merrill, engineers, made a reconnaissance of the enemy's lines above Lee's Mill. The reconnaissance was conducted with great skill and daring, and in the report of General Hancock, inclosed herewith, several officers are commended by name, among them Lieutenant-Colonel Chandler and Lieutenant and Adjt. J. D. McFarland, of the Sixth Maine, who took four prisoners. One of the prisoners was pursued 150 yards by Lieutenant McFarland on horseback directly toward the enemy's fort and in easy range of his guns, captured,and brought off. This act of gallantry deserves special notice.

On the 9th instant Colonel Burnham and the Sixth Maine assisted Lieutenant Comstock in a reconnaissance of the one-gun battery. A brisk skirmish occurred, resulting in the loss of 1 man mortally wounded on our side and the killing and wounding of 10 or 12 of the enemy. General Davidson's brigade, consisting of the Seventh Maine, Thirty-third, Seventy-seventh,and Forty-ninth New York,, of Smith's division, the evening of the 7th instant, at which time the brigade was withdrawn out of range. The guns of Wheeler's battery, placed in the edge t of the woods and supported by Davidson's brigade, played upon the enemy's works at intervals until they were withdrawn by General Davidson's