War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0597 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

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to cease firing. Immediately upon the cessation of our fire a heavy fire was poured upon us, but without any considerable effect. Instantly the word retreat was heard, and the line commenced retiring. I ordered it to halt and resume its proper front; but from the noise of the tramp through the leaves and woods, which prevented me from being heard of some other cause, the order was not executed, and the retreat continued until the entire line was within the inclosure we had left. Here meeting General Wilcox, the line was halted by him, I being some 50 yards in its rear.

On coming up I again led the command to the ground which it had retreated from, and the general engagement was renewed with great spirit and coolness by both officers and men and with telling effect. We drove the enemy before us from point to point, marking our trace with his dead bodies and baggage until he took refuge behind the mass of brush heaps and logs made by the felling of the forest before our batteries, which covered a large extent and was some 300 or 400 yards from where the engagement commenced.

Here we kept up a brisk fire on him until 2.30 o'clock. The ammunition of many of the men being exhausted, a Virginia regiment, which was in our rear some 50 to 75 yards and not engaged, took our place. We retired and replenished our cartridge boxes from those of the killed of the enemy and then returned again near the scene of action, to give any necessary support or relief to our line.

We remained on the ground until night closed on us. The further prosecution of the battle being impracticable, we retired, and, by order of General Wilcox, returned to our camp at about the hour of 12 o'clock at night, thus closing a period of fifteen to seventeen hours from the time we left camp in the morning, with natures exhausted by a cold and constant rain throughout the entire time, by the fatigues of the battle, by the march in the darkness of the night through mud and water, often half leg deep, and by hunger.

The loss in killed, wounded, and missing will be found in the annexed list.*

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Tenth Alabama Regiment.

Captain W. A. HARRIS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

No. 73. Report of Lieutenant Colonel L. Q. C. Lamar,

Nineteenth Mississippi Infantry.


Near Long Bridge, Va., May 13, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command during the action of the 5th instant:

At about 8.30 a.m. Colonel C. H. Mott, then commanding our regiment, was ordered by General Wilcox to make a sortie from the second redoubt, on the right of Fort Magruder, through a field into the forest supposed to be occupied by the enemy in large force. Throwing forward Company A, under Captain Macon, as skirmishers, the regiment


*Not found. See No. 61.