War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0525 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

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The Tenth Massachusetts had been sent necessarily to another position, but the Second Rhode Island, Colonel Wheaton, was sent forward. With this I relieved the One hundred and second Pennsylvania Volunteers, of General Peck's brigade, at about one hour before dark, and immediately after relieved the Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania with the Seventh Massachusetts, moving the latter to the left of the point where it had been originally posted.

The place of the Seventh Massachusetts was then taken by the One hundred and third Pennsylvania Volunteers, of General Keim's brigade. The fire of the enemy substantially ceased at night-fall, but the troops remained in position during the night, I having been assigned by General Peck to the charge of the right wing of the line held by him.

A little while after sunrise a careful examination of the work known as Fort Magruder indicated that it was abandoned, although two or three horsemen were still about and in it. There was, however, on the open plain to the right and rear of this work a large body of cavalry deployed. By my direction Colonel Russell ordered a detachment of 15 men of the Seventh Massachusetts to cross the woody ravine between the plain on which Fort Magruder is situated and our own line and observe more nearly. Captain Reed, of Company K, Seventh Massachusetts Volunteers, in charge of the party, crossed the ravine to the edge of the plain, and-the few scattered horsemen seen at first having disappeared in the mean time-subsequently crossed the plain to the front of the fort, passing along the front and right flank, and fully satisfying himself that it was abandoned, two heavy guns only having been left upon it. As Captain Reed was moving along the right flank, a staff officer, purporting to be from General Kearny's division, who rode out from barracks there, which he did, finding the barracks entirely untenanted except by a single rebel soldier, whom he took prisoner.

I report the following as the list of casualties in this brigade in the affair: Andrew S. Lawton, killed; Nathaniel Geary, amputation of right leg above the knee; Patrick Hein, flesh wound, slight; all of Company A, Seventh Massachusetts Volunteers.

In conclusion, it is but justice to both the Seventh Massachusetts and Second Rhode Island to say that they moved forward with great spirit and alacrity to the positions assigned them, and maintained them as long as the enemy continued in their front with calmness and resolution.

I inclose a report of Colonel Briggs, of the Tenth Massachusetts Volunteer.

And I remain, captain, very respectfully, yours,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

No. 44. Report of Brigadier General William F. Smith,

U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.


CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report, for the information of the brigadier-general commanding Fourth Army Corps, that on the morning