War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0643 Chapter XXIII. OPERATIONS ABOUT BOTTOM'S BRIDGE, VA.

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immediately to Colonel Bailey to order him to cease firing in that direction. From him I learned that the troops near the woods at Bottom's Bridge were a part of Naglee's brigade.

Hastening down to the house near Bottom's Bridge, I succeeded in finding General Naglee, and explained the orders for the reconnaissance to him. As his men occupied the woods and the open space this side, I did not deem it expedient at that late hour to displace them by a portion of Peck's brigade, which was concealed in rear of the house from which General McClellan made his observations.

I inclose a copy of my letter to General Casey, his reply, and the explanation of Brigadier-General Naglee.

The result of the operations of yesterday is that we have both bridges and the river between them. The enemy had at least one battery, some cavalry, and sharpshooters opposed to us. Our pickets are across the Chickahominy. I have advanced one brigade of Couch's division to the opening this side of Bottom's Bridge, and will to-day or to-morrow, unless otherwise ordered, move my whole command to the Old Tavern and beyond.

The report of the casualties of yesterday has not yet come in. We had several men wounded.

I remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Adjutant-General Army of the Potomac.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]


May 20, 1862.

SIR: As the orders for the engineers to examine Bottom's Bridge, and above and below, came from general headquarters and are explicit, I have made a detail of a brigade from Couch's division to assist in the reconnaissance. My orders also direct that as small a force as possible must be exposed to the view of the enemy. Under such circumstances I deem it proper to order that you do not under any circumstances expose any portion of your command to the view of the enemy at or near Bottom's Bridge during your reconnaissance to-day.

I remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.

Brigadier General SILAS CASEY, Commanding Division.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]


Near Cross-Roads, May 20, 1862.

CAPTAIN: In answer to your communication of this day's date I have the honor to reply that as soon as I saw General Naglee after receiving your orders I communicated them to him. I saw him soon after he had taken possession of the railroad bridge across the Chickahominy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General Volunteers, Commanding Division.

Captain C. C. SUYDAM, Assistant Adjutant-General.