War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0644 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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MAY 20, 1862.

Brigadier-General Casey is respectfully requested to ascertain from Brigadier-General Naglee his reasons for disobedience to the orders referred to by me.


Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.

Respectfully referred to Brigadier-General Nagley, who will report at once on this matter.

By order of Brigadier-General Casey:


Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.

[Inclosure Numbers 3.]


Three Miles from Chickahominy, May 20, 1862.

CAPTAIN: In answer to the indorsement upon the communication of General Casey to Captain Suydam, of even date herewith, I would reply that I went by verbal orders from General Casey to the Chickahominy, by the way of the railroad, with the purpose first to ascertain the situation of the railroad bridge and to secure it, and then to drive the enemy to the right of that stream that the left bank might be examined. The first purpose was accomplished before General Casey had come upon the ground, and two companies of skirmishers had deployed into the swamp, and had already advanced half of the distance between the railroad bridge and Bottom's Bridge before General Casey came upon the ground, and informed me of what was then for the first time made known to me, that General Barnard was below Bottom's Bridge making a reconnaissance. It was then too late and impossible to recall my skirmishers, who had been instructed to hold the entire left bank of the Chickahominy from 1,200 feet above the railroad bridge along that bank as far as we might proceed.

The above was fully explained to General Keyes. The force upon the ground was not my brigade, but two regiments only, numbering about 1,200.

If any interference has occurred it has been through some misapprehension, and certainly with no intention or even knowledge of any interference.

Very respectfully, &c.,



Captain HENRY W. SMITH, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 2. Report of Brigadier General John J. Peck,

U. S. Army, commanding brigade, of operations May 20.


Near Providence Church, Va., May 20, 1862.

In obedience to instructions, my brigade and two batteries were held in readiness until about 12 m. this day to support a reconnaissance to