War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0383 Chapter XXIII. SIEGE OF YORKTOWN, VA.

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under artillery fire of other works, were companies of the First and Eleventh Massachusetts. The object of the movements was to ascertain the nature of the ground in rear of the work, render the work untenable, teach the rebels a lesson, and catch some prisoners. In spite of the rain our work progresses well.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

Congratulatory letter from Honorable E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

WASHINGTON CITY, April 27, 1862

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN, Yorktown:

I am rejoiced to learn that your operations are progressing so rapidly and with so much spirit and success, and congratulate you and the officers and soldiers engaged upon the brilliant affair mentioned in your telegrams.

Repeating the assurance the everything in the power of this Department is at your service, I hope soon to congratulate you upon a splendid victory, that shall be the finishing stroke of the war. In every quarter the work seems to go bravely on.

Yours, truly,

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Numbers 44. Report of Brigadier General Cuvier Grover,

U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade, Hooker's division, Third Corps, of an affair near Yorktown, April 26.

HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, GENERAL HOOKER'S DIVISION.

Near Yorktown, Va., April 26, 1862

SIR: I have the honor to report that, pursuant to instructions received the headquarters Army of the Potomac, I moved to the front upon the Yorktown road at an early hour this morning, in command of five companies of infantry (A, H and I, First Massachusetts, and A and G, Eleventh Massachusetts), and a section of Captain Thompson's battery of the Second Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Butler, for the purpose of assaulting and carrying a field work occupied by the enemy, and learning as far as practicable the nature of the ground and his supports, if any, in the rear. With this view I made the following disposition of the force at my command, viz; The three companies of the Massachusetts First, under Lieutenant Colonel G. D. Wells, were thrown forward upon a rod which debouches from thick woods some 800 yards directly in front of the point of assault. Lieutenant-Colonel Wells was charged with the immediate command of this force, and was instructed to throw out at the break of day one company of skirmishers to the left of the work, for the double object of preventing the escape of the enemy in that direction should the nature of the ground prove such as to render escape to the rear impracticable, and to prevent re-enforcements from the enemy's heavy supports at a distance of about 1,500 yards to the left; to hold another in reserve for contingencies and emergencies, while with the third to assault the work in front, and carry it at the point of the bayonet if necessary. At the same time Lieutenant But-