Numbers 77. Report of Major Daniel H. Christie,
Twenty-third North Carolina Infantry.
BIVOUAC TWENTY-THIRD Regiment NORTH CAROLINA TROOPS,
May 6, 1862.
COLONEL: By request of Colonel Hoke, who is sick and off duty, I have the honor to hand you the following report of the part taken by the Twenty-third Regiment North Carolina Troops in the battle near Williamsburg on Monday, May 5:
The regiment was marched from its position to the scene of the engagement, and formed nearly opposite where the enemy's right was supposed to rest and on the left of Colonel McRae's (Fifth North Carolina) regiment, occupying the right of the brigade. Having received orders to charge a battery in front, and ordered forward, we moved in brigade battle line, encountering serious obstacles to rapid movement. On reaching an open field, about 400 yards distant, I was directed by General Hill to change direction perpendicular to the former line of march. Leading the regiment by the left flank about 600 yards, I was ordered by General Hill to throw the men in line of battle in this new direction, maintaining which threw the regiment upon the left of the brigade, which involved delay, as the right companies had to be formed into line at a run, as the entire movement was in double-quick time.
I had charge, by direction of Colonel Hoke, from this point, of these new companies forming the left wing, to bring them up and form them upon the right companies, which he was leading. A fence, two ravines, and woods of thick undergrowth, with fallen timber intervening, impeded the progress of the main movement.
Having advanced about 600 yards, the right companies were halted for the left to form upon them. Here we were fired upon by the enemy's pickets, in the woods on our left, covering a considerable force, which was returned with a loss to the enemy of 4 killed and several wounded, involving little injury to us.*
At this juncture the Thirty-eighth and Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiments, who had been ordered to retreat, broke over our lines. Under orders from General Hill we covered the retreat of these regiments, retiring in good order.
The officers and men manifested coolness and determination.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DANL. H. CHRISTIE,
Numbers 78. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Powhatan B. Whittle,
Thirty-eighth Virginia Infantry.
CAMP THIRTY-EIGHTH VIRGINIA Regiment, May 8, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that about 3 p.m. of the 5th instant this regiment was drawn up in line of battle at a wheat field about 1 1/2 miles north of Williamsburg along with three other regiments of the same brigade, viz, the Twenty-fourth Virginia and Fifth and Twenty-third North Carolina.
*Casualties embodied in Numbers 61.