War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0520 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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Army Corps. The Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers was ordered to the front, and the First U. S. Chasseurs, Lieutenant-Colonel Shaler, was posted as pickets in advance, a company of the Sixty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, as also one of the Thirty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, being detailed to guard the prisoners near headquarters.

At 3.30 a.m. [6th] the brigade was ordered into position in a belt of woods within a half a mile of Fort Magruder and its supporting batteries, the Sixty-first and Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers in front, and the First Long Island and Thirty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers in reserve. The flank companies of the Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, thrown out as skirmishers, advanced and [Captain Maxwell in command] entered it without opposition, it having been abandoned being found in their hospitals.

Through my aide, Lieutenant Adams, I was ordered to report in writing to the commander-in-chief the condition, strength, and character of the enemy's works, and at 7 a.m. was ordered to advance with the brigade, Major Farnsworth's cavalry in my front, and to take possession of the city of Williamsburg, receiving special orders from General Keyes, commanding the army corps, not to advance beyond the city, which instructions were obeyed.

It is unnecessary to allude to the long and violent rain-storm and the unparalleled condition of the roads further than as they served to exhibit the energy and untiring perseverance of both officers and men.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel First L. I. Vols., Commanding Graham's Brigade.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Couch's Division.

No. 41. Report of Brigadier General John J. Peck,

U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS PECK'S BRIGADE, Battle-field near Williamsburg, Va., May 6, 1862.

SIR: On the 5th instant Couch's division was ordered to move after that of General Casey. About 11 a.m. I came up with Casey's command, which was halted, and, hearing heavy firing to the front, passed on by it to the headquarters of General Keyes. About 12 m. I received orders to move my five regiments and two batteries in support of Hooker's division, already engaged on the extreme left. The command was urged on with all possible speed over bad roads and in a drenching rain. General Keyes met me, giving some important directions. General Couch, although quite ill, accompanied me to the field, reporting my arrival and advising in the dispositions. The condition of the road, limited space for artillery, with the risk of los, warranted the leaving of the batteries with the reserves. After several fruitless efforts to find General Hooker, on the part of myself and staff, I proceeded to examine my position, while awaiting development in his direction. Early in the afternoon I found a regiment of General Grover's, Hooker's division, moving back along the Williamsburg road. The officers stated that the ammunition was getting short and that the enemy was