War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0397 Chapter XXIII. SIEGE OF YORKTOWN, VA.

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The casualties were few, and will be reported as soon as accurately ascertained.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Your obedient servant,




Assistant Adjutant-General, Casey's Division.

Numbers 52. Report of Brigadier General Innis N. Palmer,

U. S. Army, of reconnaissance toward Lee's Mill, April 29.


April 30, 1862

CAPTAIN: In obedience to the instructions received from headquarters of the division I have the honor to report that on consulting with General Smith, who was sending out a reconnoitering party on my right, I advanced five companies of the Ninety-third Regiment to move to the front, keeping up the connection with the Seventy-seventh Regiment, Davidson's brigade, which was acting as escort to the officer sent by General Smith to make the reconnaissance to his front. The officer commanding these companies had orders to return with the Seventy-seventh whenever the reconnaissance was made. Two regiments and the battery were paraded, but held in reserve in the field near the telegraph tower, and two regiments were deployed in front of my line of pickets with orders to move to the front, drive in the enemy's pickets, if any were out, and ascertain, if possible, the condition of the works in front of my line toward Lee's Mill.

The order for the reconnaissance was not received until 4 p.m. and I had but a very short time in which to work, as I though it necessary to order the party to return to the reserve by dark. Colonel Belknap, of the Eighty-fifth, who had the right of the line, moved directly forward to the creek, but found it impassable. The enemy's pickets commenced firing upon this regiment only from the other side of the creek, where they were posted in front of a few rifle pits. The fire was not returned until the men reached the creek. As soon as the fire was returned all of the pickets disappeared. By this time it was nearly dark, and this regiment returned as directed. The Ninety-eighth, under Major Mann, deployed on the left of the Eighty-fifth and moved forward, feeling the men of General Naglee's brigade on the left. This regiment had no pickets at all, but they were under the fire of the forts in front, which had opened on General Naglee. Major Mann did all that could be expected, and returned a little after dark.

The only information gained by this short reconnaissance is that the enemy's pickets appear to be posted as usual in front of my line, but only on the other side of the creek.

The sharp firing from the front, which I presume has been reported by General Naglee, convinces me that up to last night the works in front toward Lee's Mill had not been evacuated.