Artillery) and the Vermont regiments (Brooks' brigade), particularly the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth, to be especially exposed. Their conduct was admirable and worthy of veterans.
I am, sir, very respectfully,your obedient servant,
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Brigadier General LORENZO THOMAS,
Adjutant-General U. S. Army.
Numbers 29. Reports of Brigadier General William F. Smith,
U. S. Army, commanding Second Division, Fourth Corps, of engagement at Lee's Mill, or Burnt Chimneys.
HEADQUARTERS SMITH'S DIVISION.
Camp before One-gun Battery, April 17, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of instructions I yesterday proceeded to reconnoiter the fort known as "the one-gun battery" and the works in its vicinity. I posted one battery (Captain Mott's) one the right of the road leading from Yorktown to Lee's Mill, sending a regiment to the right through some pines, with instructions to open fire if they saw working parties, and another regiment to the left with the same instructions, holding the remaining three regiments of the Second Brigade (Brigadier-General Brooks) in reserve, the First Brigade (Brigadier-General Hancock) holding the road to Lee's Mill from the Four Corners with two batteries in the vicinity of Mrs. Curtis' house, the Third Brigade (Brigadier-General Davidson) with one battery at the Four Corners.
On the infantry opening fire the enemy replied with shell, on which I directed Captain Mott to open fire with his battery, which he at once did, getting the range (about 1,100 yards) with great accuracy. The enemy replied with shrapnel and shell, which burst all around, one shell against the wheel of one of the guns, killing 3 men and wounding more. After about an hour's brisk firing their works were silenced, one gun in the embrasure of the upper work having been replaced by a wooden gun.
About 3 o'clock I got eighteen guns in position about 500 yards from the works, and, having given Brigadier-General Brooks instructions to support the artillery on either flank with his brigade, I moved the First Brigade, under Brigadier-General Hancock, up in support, ordering the Third Brigade (Brigadier-General Davidson) to occupy the position vacated by Brigadier-General Hancock at Mrs. Curtis' house. I opened fire, and for some time the enemy replied with rapidity. At length their fire slackened. I ordered four companies of the Third Vermont to cross the creek and feel the enemy. On arriving at the crest of the parapet of the outer work they were met by the enemy in force, who had lain secreted, and were forced to retire, having had, however, possession of the work for a few minutes.
Later in the day, under fire of the artillery, I made another reconnaissance with the Fourth Vermont on the right, the Fifth and Sixth on the left, but found it impracticable to push farther than up to the dam, a position I now hold. During the night we had thrown up strong breastworks-one on the right for four guns, within