War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0485 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG,VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

the brigade to advance with my regiment, for the support of the Seventieth and Seventy-second Regiments, then engaged with the enemy's right. We were taken through the woods to the left of the Williamsburg road, and formed in line of battle immediately in rear of those regiments. After remaining a short time I was ordered to support the right, then in imminent of being turned. Accordingly, I returned to the road,crossed it,and entered the chevaux-de-frise, about 20 paces to the right of the ---.

We were then ordered to advance across the road, which was done in as good order as the obstructions would permit, and immediately upon reaching the left of the road were exposed to a galling fire from the enemy, then rapidly advancing upon that point. I immediately ordered the regiment to commence firing to advance, which was done, and the enemy, under our steady fire, fell back, and I pushed forward as fast as the nature of the ground, obstructions,&c., would allow, still keeping up a constant fire. At this time the enemy opened upon us with a battery from their fortifications on our left, and commenced a steady fire of shell, having us immediately in their range. I still pressed the regiment forward, thinking that if we could get out of the range they would not fire upon their own friends. It seemed to me at this time as though victory was within our grasp, as they sullenly retired under our fire and theirs slackened very decidedly.

At this time my ammunition began to give out, the left and center were falling back, and the entire force of the enemy seemed turned upon the point where my regiment and the Seventy-fourth were engaged. I was consequently obliged to give the order to fall back to the woods,which we did in comparative good order.

My lieutenant-colonel (Lewis Benedict,jr.) is missing and from all I can learn is a prisoner. My officers killed were Captain John Feeny, of Company G, Lieutenant J. J. Glass, of Company B, and Lieutenant B. F. Beach, of Company C. Lieutenant Beach was sent in the morning by the colonel commanding the brigade with 6 men to reconnoiter a certain part of the enemy's lines, and while in the execution of this duty was killed. These officers all fell while in the discharge of their duties, and were brave and gallant men. The officers and men of my regiment (with but few exceptions) behaved admirably under their first exposure to fire, but I would call particular attention to Capts. C. B. Elliott, of Company I; A. A. Donalds, of Company F; M. W.

Burns, of Company A, who were of great assistance to me in urging forward the men when exposed to a galling fire and obliged to advance through a thick entanglement of brush and felled timber. The most of my men were shot while climbing over felled trees. Lieutenant-Colonel Benedict was always in the advance, and having been on the extreme left of my regiment must have been taken prisoner when they were first obliged to fall back.

I am, very respectfully, yours,&c.,


Colonel 73rd Reg. N. Y. S. V.,2nd Brigadier, Hooker's Division.

Lieutenant H. E. TREMAN,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.