War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0477 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG,VA.

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and if there was any fault in the conduct of the regiment it lies entirely with myself, and not with the men, and it is my intention at the first opportunity to mention several cease of privates in the regiment whose gallant conduct in action deserves particular commendation.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Regiment.


Act. Asst. Adjt. General, First Brigade, Hooker's Division.

No. 11. Report of Colonel Gilman Marston,

Second New Hampshire Infantry.

SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Second Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the battle of Williamsburg on the 5th instant. We arrived before the strong works which the enemy had erected in front of Williamsburg and within range of his guns about 5.30 a.m. preceded by the First Massachusetts Volunteers, and followed by the Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers and Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers. Company E, Captain Drown, and Company B, Lieutenant Boyden (Captain Colby, of Company B, being seriously ill at Camp Winfield Scott), were immediately deployed as skirmishers in the fallen timber on the left of the road by which we advanced. The remaining companies (seven) formed in line of battle in the wood and on the right of the road, the left resting thereon. About 7.15 a.m. I was ordered by General Hooker to advance the line through the fallen timber about 250 yards to the margin thereof and there shelter the men from the enemy's fire as much as possible, and be prepared to support the batteries under Major Wainwright, which were about to be placed in position in front of us. We remained in that position for more than six hours, constantly under fire of the enemy's batteries, and the rain all the while falling in torrents. I am sure no veteran soldiers could have endured the discomforts and the dangers of those six long hours with more courage and cheerfulness than did the officers and men of the Second Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers. Companies E and B, who had been deployed as skirmishers in the morning, quickly chased the skirmishers of the enemy from the fallen timber, and then from their rifle pits, and finally into their fortifications. They then directed their attention to the cannoneers of the enemy, and so unerring was their aim that the fire of the batteries was very much enfeebled, and sometimes completely silenced.

Captain Snow, Company F, who had been on detached service at Cheeseman's Creek, arrived about 1 o'clock p.m., having marched all night to join his regiment. For several hours the fire of musketry had be en very heavy in the wood some half a mile or more on the left of the road, and in advance of the position I occupied in the fallen timber. Sometimes the fire to advance and again to recede, and we were doubtful how the day was going in that part of the field. About 3 o'clock p.m. the fire of the enemy suddenly increased on the left, and, apparently advancing indicated that the left was about to be turned.

As it was impossible to change front in the fallen timber where we any and preserve any formation whatever, I got the regiment out of