War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0655 Chapter XXIII. SKIRMISHES AT NEW BRIDGE, VA., ETC.

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Numbers 4. Report of Brigadier General John W. Davidson,

U. S. Army, commanding brigade.


Camp near New Bridge, Chickahominy River, Va., May 26, 1862.

I have to make the following report of the affair at Mechanicsville, Va., on the morning of the 24th:

About noon on the 23rd instant I received orders from you to move my brigade and Wheeler's battery up to Mechanicsville and occupy that point to protect the rear of general Stoneman's advance, which was to operate on the railroad. On the arrival of General Stoneman at Brandy Run Bridge, about one mile this side of the village, he found the enemy in position on this side of the village, who opened upon him with their battery. After an artillery combat of about half an hour's duration he silenced their battery and turned the affair over to me. I and being satisfied the enemy had not evacuated the village, and knowing nothing of the approaches to it nor of the approaches to it nor of their force, I determined to postpone further operations until daybreak of the next morning. On advancing my pickets about 600 yards were fired upon by those of the enemy. At daylight in the morning i attacked the village. The enemy opened upon us at the same time with their artillery and infantry, who fired upon our advanced lines from the houses, barns, trees, and hedges. I advanced my battery of four pieces a section at a time, and finding it was difficult to silence the enemy's guns with four pieces, i sent back to General Stoneman for a section of horse artillery, who promptly sent up Captain Pennington's

section of Tidball's battery. As soon as it arrived I threw forward my whole line of skirmishers, pushed forward my pieces upon the enemy, properly supported, to within between 300 and 400 yards of the village, and concentrating my fire, silenced their pieces and drove them out of the houses. As soon as I saw this being accomplished the Seventy-seventh New York Volunteers, Colonel James B. McKean commanding, which had occupied during the engagement the road on the right of the village, was thrown into it upon the heels of the retreating enemy, who in their flight left behind them a part of their knapsacks and a flag of one of that the force opposed to us was the Eight and Ninth Georgia Regiments, numbering, one, 700, and the other, 800 men; two sections of the Washington Light Artillery of Louisiana, and a squadron of cavalry.

The Seventh Maine and Forty-ninth New York Vols., of my brigade, were posted on the right and left of the road, supporting batteries. Part of the Thirty-third New York Vols. formed of the regiment was held in reserve. My casualties were 2 killed and 11 wounded; 1 artillery horse killed and 1 wounded.

All my officers and men behaved with great coolness under fire. The enemy's artillery practice and that of their sharpshooters was good. I regret to say that Colonel E. C. Mason, commanding the Seventh Maine Volunteers, was stunned and injured in the early part of the action by a fall from his horse, caused by the explosion of a shell under him. His valuable services were thus lost to me. Lieutenant Colonel J. W. Corning, Thirty-third New York Volunteers, rendered me valuable services in command of my advanced line of skirmishers. My staff, Captain Martindale, Captain Russell, Lieutenants Long Cameron, and McGunnegle, were active during the engagement.