War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0503 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

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To mention any one officer or soldier over another would be gross injustice to the rest, and if it is deemed necessary to mention those who behaved well I would find it necessary to forward my muster rolls.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

J. H. HOBART WARD,

Colonel Thirty-eighth Regiment N. Y. Volunteers.

Captain G. W. MINDIL,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

No. 31. Report of Colonel Edward J. Riley,

Fortieth New York Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS FORTIETH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS, Near Williamsburg, Va., May 6, 1862.

Captain: In pursuance of orders from your headquarters I respectfully submit the following report of the proceedings of the regiment under my command during the attack upon the works in front of Williamsburg.

In the neighborhood of 3 p.m. of the 5th instant we, in conjunction with the Thirty-eighth New York, were ordered to advance to the front, in order to drive back the enemy's skirmishers. Reaching the front we followed the Thirty-eighth by the flank into the woods upon the right-hand side of the road, when the Thirty-eighth were sent forward in line, while the Fortieth were divided in two wings, the right wing going forward to immediately support the Thirty-eighth and the left wing to act as reserve.

Having not a single field officer present on duty, I went forward with the right wing and advanced into the felled timber, where, after getting to the front, I discovered the enemy, upon whom we opened fire, they returning it hotly with musketry and shells. I also discovered that we were unmasked by the Thirty-eighth New York moving toward the right, when, considering some support necessary, I searched for my left wing, and found that they had been ordered to the left of the road by General Kearny, who gallantly led them forward until by a brisk dash they drove the enemy from the left of the timber back toward their rifle pits. Our men held their position thus until night-fall, when the enemy retired to their intrenchments. After night, various rumors being sent along the line to come in, &c., and finding that a large number of men, being utterly exhausted, were going in to rest, and having no orders to come in or hold our ground, I came in and found Brigadier-General Birney, who ordered me to take those men of the right wing back from where they were formed in the road and establish a strong picket line along the front where the right companies were stationed and to let the left-wing companies remain in, which I immediately did, re-establishing the line myself. About 6 a.m. the following morning we were relieved. Having learned that the general commanding division desires the names of the officers of the left wing with a view to commend them, I would respectfully recommend that the right wing deserves equally honorable mention, they having maintained steadily their advance under a galling cross-fire until the enemy ceased firing and retired, and having sustained a greater loss in killed and wounded than the left wing, and I was much pleased with their