War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0497 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG,VA.

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During the time I was reconnoitering the rebel works and moving forward to the first work large bodies of rebel cavalry could be seen moving from their works near Williamsburg toward the town. I then ordered forward my whole brigade, deploying four companies of the One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers as skirmishers, and with one section each to Thompson's and Randolph's batteries moved on toward Williamsburg, the rebel cavalry retreating as we advanced. Their rear left the town as my right entered. I found no troops in the town except a few deserters and several hundred sick and wounded rebels. I have not been able to ascertain the exact number, as they are in almost every house in town. I marched my brigade through the town and encamped near the college, by order of the general commanding. I have placed guards at all the principal houses in the town, and have protected all persons and property. The rebels destroyed a large quantity of ammunition just before leaving. They also abandoned four 12-pounder iron guns, one brass 6-pounder.

Hoping the course I have pursued in taking possession of the town will meet your approbation, I remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Brigadier General PHILIP KEARNY, Commanding Division.

No. 26. Report of Colonel Stephen A. Dodge,

Eighty-seventh New York Infantry.

HDQRS. EIGHTY-SEVENTH N. Y. VOLUNTEERS, Camp en route to Richmond, Va., May 11, 1862.

CAPTAIN: In obedience to circular from Headquarters Army of the Potomac, dated May 10, I have the honor to report that about 3 p.m. of 5th instant I received orders for my men to throw off their knapsacks, &c., and to hasten on toward Williamsburg. After going a short distance we were halted to permit a portion of General Casey's command to pass out by the only road leading on. We were informed that the affair or skirmish had ended. In half an hour Captain Potter, assistant adjutant-general, ordered us to hasten on. In obedience to such order I pressed my men on in the most speedy manner consistent with keeping them in order, part of the time double-quick, through mud mostly knee-deep, and the road filled with stumps.

I reported to General Hooker by General Jameson's order, who directed me to Brigadier-General Kearny, whom I found in the open field under the enemy's fire. General Kearny ordered me to take my command in the woods to the right of the road and there deploy them, lying down to support our forces engaged in front. I did so, and although the fire of the enemy raked the woods, my officers and men conducted themselves in a most creditable manner. We remained there all night in the rain,hungry and wet, and in the morning were ordered on to Williamsburg.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Eighty-seventh New York Volunteers.

Captain POTTER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Jameson's Brigade.