War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0453 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG,VA.

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I proposed to turn the left of the enemy, and it was understood by all if Captain Stewart, who had been sent out on a reconnaissance, should report that the forts on the enemy's left were evacuated that we would occupy them at once.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. V. SUMNER,

Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.

Brigadier General R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff.

NOTE.-I inclose the copy of a note to General Heintzelman showing that I intended to attack their left.

E. V. SUMNER.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Adams' House, May 5, 1862.

GENERAL: The general commanding directs me to say to you that the report from our right is on the whole favorable, but that there will be undoubtedly some batteries to carry. The divisions are not yet up with which the movement is to be made. The enemy's abandoned works on his left will be occupied at once and held. The movement will be made to-morrow morning, and the general directs that you govern myself accordingly.

Very respectfully, general, your most obedient servant,

J. H. TAYLOR,

Chief of Staff and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Brigadier-General HEINTZELMAN,

Commanding on the Left.

No. 4. Report of Brigadier General Samuel P. Heintzelman,

U. S. Army, commanding Third Corps.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD CORPS, ALLEN'S FARM, May 5, 1862-9 p.m.

GENERAL: This morning about 9 a.m. the enemy attacked General Hooker, with the evident intention of overwhelming him before he could be re-enforced. He gallantly sustained himself. I was with General Sumner farther to the right. He sent out and made some reconnaissance to the right, with the object of turning the left flank of the enemy. About 11 a.m. he learned that it was practicable, but still was waiting for provisions for some of the troops. I left at about 11 a.m. and reached General Hooker's division about 1.30 p.m. I found him hard pressed, but had already sent several messengers to hurry up General Kearny's division. The rebels in the morning got re-enforcements, and the battle raged with various advances and retreats. It was after 2 p.m. when the first re-enforcements reached us. But a few moments before our troops were driven back, some in a panic.

After great exertions this was partially checked, and the opportune arrival of General Berry's brigade saved our artillery and drove the enemy back. Gradually the other brigades arrived, and the enemy