men imploring for mercy. We kept up the fire on the boat until, I can safely say, no one on board, 6 or 8 in number, escaped, all being killed or wounded.
An officer on board of this boat-a mate, as I learned from the prisoners-a daring and reckless man, fell a prey to his rashness.
Our fire was not returned, though the enemy were armed with navy pistols and the skirmish was at short range at the outset.
The men engaged behaved most gallantly.
As we retired the enemy's gunboats moved up and commenced a promiscuous shelling of the fields and woods in rear of the town, none of which came near us.
Being relieved of duty at that post I returned, with my command, on the train, in charge of the prisoners, who were delivered to Major-General Huger, with officers' sword, cutlasses, and pistols captured.
WM. H. WILLIS,
Captain Company I, Fourth Georgia Volunteers.
Adjt. PHIL. COOK, Fourth Georgia Volunteers.
MAY 20-23, 1862.-Operations about Bottom's Bridge, Chickahominy River. Va.
Numbers 1.-Brigadier General Erasmus D, Keyes, U. S. Army, of operations May 20-21.
Numbers 2.-Brigadier General J. Peck, U. S. Army, commanding brigade.
Numbers 3.-Brigadier General Silas Casey, U. S. Army, commanding division, of operations May 20.
Numbers 4.-Brigadier General Henry M. Naglee, U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade, Casey's division, of operations May 20-23.
Numbers 5.-Colonel David McM. Gregg, Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Numbers 1. Reports of Brigadier General Erasmus D. Keyes,
U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Corps, of operations May 20-21.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
Camp near Bottom's Bridge, Va., May 20, 1862-11.30 a.m.
GENERAL: I have to report the result of a reconnaissance made by Major Harlow and party, of Colonel Russell's Seventh Massachusetts Volunteers, this morning. The party, consisting of Captains Holman and Whitcomb's companies, got into the skirt of the woods this side just before daylight. Captain Holman saw the bridge. It appeared to have been blown up in the center. They re fired upon on reaching the woods from rifle pits on the opposite bank. One sergeant is missing and one man wounded. It is thought that the sergeant had strayed off to the left. The river at the bridge is 10 yards wide; the swamp perhaps 60 or 100. I inclose a copy of a sketch sent in by Colonel Russell.*
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
E. D. KEYES,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS, A. A. G., Army of the Potomac.
41 R R-VOL XI