War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0507 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

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be the case upon ground of the character of that upon which the action of yesterday took place. The conduct of officers and men was perfectly satisfactory, and among them all it is next to impossible to distinguish. Still, I must mention Sergeants Dobson, wounded, and Boughton and Corporals Loomis, severely wounded, and Wallace, killed, whose conduct came under my own eye. Corporal Wallace, although wounded, refused to leave the field, and fought until a ball passed through his head, killing him instantly. The general commanding headed a charge of one company of this regiment commanded by Captain Handy, and is better able to judge of the manner in which his example was followed than I am.

The strength of the regiment when it went into action was about 300 men, the balance having been wearied out by the fatiguing march which preceded that event. The loss was as follows: 1 sergeant, 3 corporals, and 10 privates killed; 3 commissioned officers, 6 sergeants, and 30 privates were wounded, of which about 5 are mortal wounds; 1 corporal and 14 privates missing.

Recapitulation: 14 killed; 39 wounded, of whom one is a prisoner; 15 missing, who are probably prisoners. Total loss, 68.*

Although in the hotest of the fight, yet our loss is comparatively light-a fact which I attribute to our having our men deployed as skirmishers instead of being in line of battle; still, it is one out of every five engaged.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

ORLANDO M. POE,

Colonel, Commanding Second Michigan Volunteers.

Captain STURGIS,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Kearny's Division.

No. 34. Report of Colonel Henry D. Terry,

Fifth Michigan Infantry.

HDQRS. FIFTH REGIMENT MICHIGAN INFANTRY, Williamsburg, Va., May 6, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report to you, for the consideration of the brigade general, a statement of the engagement of yesterday near Williamsburg, Va., with a portion of the rebel enemy, so far as came under my observation. The Fifth Regiment of Michigan Infantry, under my command, arrived at the scene of action about 2.30 o'clock p.m., and in pursuance to the directions of your general at once deployed in line of battle in the woods to the left of the road leading to Williamsburg, the right resting a few rods from the road. The enemy was strongly posted in our front, with sharpshooters, using the weapon known as the Mississippi rifle. The Fifth moved forward in line of battle until the enemy were in full view, when a brisk fire was opened on them by our men, who fired very steadily. Perceiving that our men were suffering from the fire of his rifles, a charge was ordered, which resulted in the retirement of the enemy for a short distance, when a sharp fire was interchanged, and he again retired under a charge to a rifle pit in the edge of the woods, where he made a determined stand and opened a brisk fire with severe effect. Another

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*But see revised statement, p.450.

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