War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0361 Chapter XXIII. SIEGE OF YORKTOWN VA.

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April 16, 1862-7 a.m.

SIR: I had the honor to receive at 3 o'clock this morning the copy of Major-General McClellan's order to Brigadier-General Smith to stop the enemy's work at the one-gun battery, opposite his right flank. I reconnoitered that work closely myself yesterday, but could not satisfactorily discover its strength. Many indications convince me that the enemy is working in rear and out of sight of the forts we see. I have had ten [?] regiments of Couch's division notified to be ready to move in a moment, should their services be needed, to support Smith, from whom I have not yet heard.

Yesterday the enemy threw ten or twelve shot and shells from a battery opposite the mouth of Stony Creek upon the ground occupied by the left flank of Graham's brigade. No damage was done, although some of the projectiles flew over one regiment. It seems the enemy has a field gun, with which he visits that fort occasionally. Graham's pickets will watch, and he is instructed to make a new disposition of his camps if necessary.

8.10 a.m.- The first guns are now heard. I shall go in that direction myself.

I remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Army Corps.

Brigadier-General WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 26. Reports of Brigadier General Charles S. Hamilton,

U. S. Army, commanding Third Division, Third Corps, of operations April 11-12.


CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that the alarm of yesterday was caused by the enemy making a dash at some wood buildings lying between the left wing of my pickets and the rebel intrenchments. The buildings were burned and no doubt destroyed, that they might not be used as a cover for sharpshooters.

Later in the day another dash was made from the intrenchments in front of my extreme right on the rifle pits occupied by the Berdan Sharpshooters, but under pressure of larger numbers. The troops under General Jameson, dispatched to the support of the pickets, quickly repulsed the rebels, driving them back under cover of their earthworks. A gun which the rebels had been compelled to withdraw position during the night while the rifle pits were vacant.

The troops on picket duty, in the main, behaved well in the presence of the enemy. A few exceptions, however, were noticed in the Sixty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers and in the regiment of Sharpshooters.

I transmit herewith a report of Colonel Hays, Sixty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, with a list of casualties; also a note from Colonel Berdan in relation to his men leaving their post.

It is proper to remark that Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan, Sixty-third