War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0557 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

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marching in the rear, was overtaken by a staff officer from General Hancock, and at his instance returned and went to his support, not getting there, however, until the enemy had been handsomely repulsed.

There are no casualties to report, although the brigade was exposed to quite a number of shots from the enemy's artillery.

Very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade.


Smith's Division.

No. 56. Report of Brigadier General Silas Casey,

U. S. Army, commanding Third Division.


Near Williamsburg, May 8, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on Sunday, the 4th instant, I received notice from the general commanding the Fourth Corps that the enemy were supposed to be evacuating the line on our front. I immediately ordered my division under arms, with one day's rations in their haversacks. I advanced with care at first, but soon ascertained that the enemy had evacuated the forts in my front, into which I immediately directed my division to move. The rebels had buried a number of torpedoes in the road leading to their works, one of which exploded and killed 1 and wounded 6 men of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers.

I ordered the First Brigade of my division, and General Graham's brigade of Couch's division, which had been temporarily placed under my charge, the whole under the command of General Naglee, to make a reconnaissance in front. I soon after received orders from General Sumner to advance with the other two brigades of my division.

On the morning of the 5th instant I arrived within 1 1/2 miles of the front at about 10.30, and rode forward and reported to General Sumner, who directed me to remain, to endeavor, if possible, to get up some subsistence for the men, some of whom had been without subsistence for twenty-four hours. It was raining hard at the time, and the men were without shelter-tents or blankets.

About 1 o'clock p.m. I was ordered by General Keyes to advance to the front, and while making my preparations so do to I was directed by General Sumner to move to the support of General Hooker, on the left. I immediately formed my division and moved off, with the First Brigade leading, and gave directions for the other brigades to follow. After proceeding 3 miles I was overtaken by an express, directing me to obey the first order from General Keyes. I immediately counter-marched, and returned as quickly as possible.

In the mean time the troops of my division in my rear, with the exception of the One hundred and fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, had been sent to the front, as I ascertained, by the orders of General Keyes. Soon after arriving in front General McClellan came up, and directed me to proceed with my division to sustain General Hancock on the right, who was reported to be in a very precarious situation.