I receive the reports of commanders, who will designate the services of each. I shall then take occasion to refer to the valuable and important service rendered by the Signal Corps, and also by the aides the commanding general has so kindly furnished me, as well as by the other members of my staff.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. PORTER,
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH PROVISIONAL ARMY CORPS,
Camp near Harrison's Landing, Va., July 9, 1862.
GENERAL: The various and almost incessant occupations in connection with the repeated movements of this corps have prevented the completion by the proper officers of the reports which should have been received at headquarters of their respective shares in the services it has rendered, and have thus delayed my report to you detailing those services.
The death of many officers in the late engagements makes it impossible that full reports of the services of their commands should ever be completed. Now, at the first leisure moment, i have the honor to present in a narrative form a succinct record of some of the earlier operations of this corps.
Under the direction of the major-general commanding certain measures for the protection of the right flank of the army in its advance toward Richmond were put in my hands, beginning simultaneously with the march of the army from the Pamunkey. Among these were the clearing of the enemy from the upper peninsula as far as Hanover Court-House or beyond, and the destruction of railroad and other bridges over the South Anna and Pamunkey Rivers, in order to prevent the enemy in large force from getting into our rear from that direction, and in order, further, to cut one great line of the enemy's communications-i. e., that connecting Richmond directly with Northern Virginia.
In pursuance of these plans I left at the time of our first advance a regiment at Mount Airey (White House road) to operate in connection with the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry, for the destruction of bridges, boat, &c., on the Pamunkey above White House. These forces, after ward consolidated into a brigade, consisting of the Fifth New York and First Connecticut Volunteers, Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry and Weeden's Rhode Island battery, were placed in command of Colonel Warren, Fifth New York Volunteers, and posted at Old Church, from which point their efforts were successful in destroying all means of communication over the Pamunkey as far toward hanover Court-House as was deemed prudent without the co-operation of an additional force.
In further pursuance of the major-general commanding, at 4 a. m. on the 27th May I marched from New Bridge with the division of General Morell, preceded by an advance guard of two regiments of cavalry and a light battery, under command of Brigadier-General Emory. At the same hour I put in motion from Old Church the brigade under Colonel Warren. These two commands were to fall upon the enemy, whom I had