War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0459 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG,VA.

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sight of the wounded, the re-enforcements still behind, all conspired to depress everybody. No efforts I could make would move them. I ordered the drums to beat, but the drums were wet, and did not give forth cheerful sounds. I saw some brass instruments. I ordered the musicians to play, but it was only part of a band. Lieutenant Johnston, of my staff, looked around the found some more. Putting them together, the band struck up a patriotic air. This inspired life into all. The men collected and began to cheer. The strains were wafted through the old forest, and made themselves heard by our weary troops above the roar of the battle, and inspired them with fresh vigor to perform new deeds of valor.

At 2.30 p.m. by the most strenuous exertions (the men laying aside their knapsacks) General Kearny and General Berry with his brigade pushed through the obstructions on their way and arrived on the ground just as the enemy got to a battery of our artillery in the road, and repulsed him immediately. The officer in charge of the guns fired three shots, which aided in checking the enemy. The Fifth Michigan, Colonel Terry, charged upon the enemy with the bayonet, and drove them upon the rifle pits, killing 143 of them, 63 of whom were shout through the head. General Berry is entitled to great credit of the energy he displayed in passing the obstructions on the road and for the gallant point of the battle.

An hour after General Berry arrived General Birney with his brigade came up, followed immediately by General Jameson with his. From a prisoner we learned that during the afternoon four rebel regiments arrived from Williamsburg at a double-quick, and at this time the most determined efforts were made to turn our left flank.

Re-enforcements for the enemy, however, were arriving all day till 5 p.m. General Kearny had but five regiment engaged. Of the remainder four regiments on the left flank, under General Emory, and three in reserve, under General Jameson. General Hooker had about 9,000 men, including the artillery, in the action. The Seventy-first New York Volunteers were left at Cheeseman's Landing, but have joined since the battle.

I cannot find words to do justice to the gallantry of General Hooker's division. The smoke and rain were driven by the wind into the faces of our men. Even the elements were combined against us. Notwithstanding the disheartening circumstances that our troops knew we had three divisions idle on their right,within hearing of their musketry, they held the ground as long as they had any ammunition with a fearful loss of life against great odds, in a fortified position, until General Kearny's division made a march of 9 miles through rain and mud over a road obstructed by troops that were going to the right, where they were not wanted. I cannot find words to express my admiration of their gallantry.

About 2.30 p.m. General Peck's brigade, sent by General Keyes, took up a position somewhere on General Hooker's right, and engaged the enemy. As his report was not made to me, I cannot say with what result. It no doubt helped to keep the enemy in check on that part of this line.

In General Grover's brigade most of the regiments did very well-the Second New Hampshire particularly so, and it suffered greatly. Colonel Marston, of the Second New Hampshire, states in his report that -

The rebels barbarian in command extended a white flag, and cried out to him (Captain