be made by General Barnard. On receiving an intimation that the general had passed on, I pushed forward my command with all speed to the front. From the time of leaving camp, artillery fire was heard at intervals in the direction of the railroad bridge.
On joining General Barnard, I stated that I had my brigade and two batteries ready to support him in his reconnaissance, and requested him to state the dispositions he desired me to make. After a consultation, I gave the general two companies of infantry and Lieutenant Comstock two more, and established some eight companies on the flanks for observation, screened by the woods. The balance of my command, including Colonel Gregg's cavalry, I placed in close proximity, but out of view of the enemy's pickets, in accordance with my own judgment and directions received personally from General Keyes.
While making these dispositions the firing was continued on the right by troops of General Casey's division. A section of one of his batteries was advanced down into the Bottom's road with infantry supports. This battery kept up a rapid fire, with but little or no response from the enemy, until after the close of the reconnaissance. This movement of General Casey's on to my front was wholly unnecessary, inasmuch as the ground was already occupied with Colonel Russell's Seventh Massachusetts Regiment, placed there by General Couch, and the whole of my command being in hand. In my judgment the fire of the artillery must have in some degree embarrassed the reconnaissance of General Barnard.
At the conclusion of the general's examination I reported to General Keyes, and in accordance with his directions brought away my command a little after 5 p.m., save the Ninety-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, which was left in support of the front.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN J. PECK,
Captain C. C. SUYDAM,
Asst. Adjt. General, Headquarters Keyes' Fourth Corps.
Numbers 3. Report of Brigadier General Silas Casey,
U. S. Army, commanding division, of operations May 20.
HEADQUARTERS CASEY'S DIVISION,
May 23, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with the authority given me to make such reconnaissance as I might think proper to the north and wet, I proceeded to organize one on the morning of the 20th instant, the day after the arrival of my division. I directed General Naglee, with two regiments, to proceed down the railroad, and, if possible, to the bridge across the Chickahominy. With two batteries of artillery and one regiment of infantry I proceeded to the road leading to Bottom's Bridge and thence along a road passing to the right. I placed the guns near the railroad and about half a mile from the bridge, where the road crosses the Chickahominy. I soon went down near the bridge and found General Naglee, who had been successful in driving in the enemy's pickets and taking possession of