The men generally behaved with coolness and deliberation during the entire time we were under fire [five hours], and several exhausted every round of ammunition in their boxes. I have been so well satisfied with their conduct that I think it unnecessary after their first engagement to designate any particular instance of bravery. Our position was occupied about twilight by the Second Rhode Island Regiment, at which time the fire of the enemy had ceased.
Very respectfully submitted.
THOS. A. ROWLEY,
Colonel One Hundred and Second or old Thirteenth Pa. Vols.
JOS. BROWNE, Adjutant.
Captain W. H. MORRIS,
No. 43. Report of Brigadier General Charles Devens,
jr., U. S. Army, commanding Third Brigade.
HDQRS. THIRD Brigadier, COUCH'S DIVISION, FOURTH CORPS, May 6, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report in reference to the affair near Williamsburg that the portion of this brigade with me [Second Rhode Island, Seventh and Tenth Massachusetts] was ordered to leave its camp beyond Lee's Mill on May 5, and followed the line of march of General Peck's brigade. At about a mile below the Brick Church the battery of artillery attached to the brigade could not be moved, and the road was in such condition and so blocked by teams that it was impossible to move the infantry past them. An order was also received there that the ammunition wagons and ambulances of the divisions of General Hooker and Kearny should have the first claim to the road.
I at length succeeded in passing the infantry beyond the obstructions in the road, and with the Seventh Massachusetts arrived at the open plain near the White House, known as-, at about 2 o'clock p.m. The Seventh Massachusetts, Colonel Russell, was placed at the left of a line which was being formed at the debouchure of a road from the front to the plain. In a few moments an order was received for the regiment to move forward to the support of General Peck, who was actively engaged in front, tenaciously holding his position against very persistent attacks of the enemy. The regiment moved steadily forward in line under a severe and well-directed fire of shot and shell with which the enemy were sweeping the woods, which, however, became less dangerous as the regiment resolutely and rapidly passed within the range at which the enemy were firing, and the comparatively small loss which I have to report is due under Providence to the spirit and determination with which it thus breasted the artillery fire. After advancing to within some 50 feet of the front I was met by General Peck, who directed me to throw the regiment more to the right of his line, which was then seriously menaced. This was accordingly done, and the regiment placed in line on the right of and supporting the Ninety-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, of General Peck's line. After this disposition was made, General Peck's troops being much exhausted, I sent for the Tenth Massachusetts and Second Rhode Island, having been informed that they had now come up.