War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0548 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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safe from being flanked by the enemy by your being re-enforced; that in case he could not send you re-enforcements you would comply with his orders and fall back to the position you first occupied on crossing the dam on our right, but that you did not wish to do so, as it would discourage your troops and proportionally encourage the enemy. You also asked me to state both to General Sumner and General Smith your exact position. I returned to the headquarters of General Sumner your exact position. I returned to the headquarters of General Sumner and there met General Smith. I explained to him what you had desired me, and he asked me to go to General Sumner, and after detailing to him your position to respectfully suggest that the remaining two brigades of his [Smith's] division might be sent as re-enforcements. I did so, and General Sumner ordered me to direct General Smith to proceed at once to your support. Before, however, the remainder of the division was fairly in motion the order was countermanded, and General Smith was sent to support the center, and it was not until late in the evening and after you had repulsed the attack of the enemy that re-enforcements arrived to support you. I then returned by your order, having in charge an enemy's flag, to general headquarters.

I have the honor to be, general, yours, most respectfully,


Second Lieutenant of Engineers.

Brigadier General W. S. HANCOCK,

Commanding First Brigade, Smith's Division.

HEADQUARTERS SMITH'S DIVISION, Camp near Williamsburg, Va., May 8, 1862.

GENERAL: In compliance with your request I have the honor to make the following written statement of the official messages transmitted by me between Brigadier-General Smith, commanding division, and yourself, during the engagement of Monday, the 5th instant:

Being with you at about 2.30 p.m. on that day, while your artillery was playing upon the enemy's works and your infantry was getting into position, you desired me to go immediately to General Smith with this message: "Please tell General Smith that I think he ought to send me re-enforcements at once, as the enemy are getting very thick in front." I started immediately, arriving at headquarters of the division at about 3 p.m.; but General Smith being absent on the field, and General Sumner being present, I communicated your message to him in person, and at once received this reply: "I have just ordered General Hancock to fall back to his first point, sir, and cannot send him re-enforcements." I then went immediately for General Smith, whom I met very shortly on his return, and communicated to him the message I had received from you, at the same time stating that I had communicated it also to General Sumner, and adding his reply. General Smith then gave me these instructions: "Go at once to General Hancock and tell him that I have wanted and have tried to re-enforce him, but that General Sumner has positively forbidden to allow any re-enforcements to be sent to him until more troops come up from the rear." This message I communicated to General Hancock in person at about 3.30 p.m.

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


Lieutenant and Ordnance Officer, General Smith's Division.