War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 1048 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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were evidently aimed at the oak tree, where we kept a man posted. The tree was struck and some branches torn away. Several shells burst within our defenses, wounding 3 of our men. This afternoon, when the storm began, the enemy were reported advancing on the left and in front. On the Williamsburg road a strong body of cavalry pushed through our line of pickets, and at the same time heavy volleys of musketry disclosed infantry in some force on the right and in front of the new redoubt. The working party stampeded the pickets on the right, Sumners gave way, and Lieutenant Stewart, commanding my pickets on the right of the road, retired under cover, after returning a few shots. The enemys musketry swept the field from the right diag- onally, the shot reaching the grove of oaks behind the redoubt. On the left there was some firing, but inconsiderable. I sent Lieutenant Palmer with several orderlies to communicate with the pickets and bring me reliable information of the movements and force of the enemy. He had proceeded on the right up the road only a short distance beyond the building in front of the new redoubt when he was killed and two of the orderlies wounded. As soon as I could bring in his body and the wounded dragoons I directed the pickets on the right and left of the road to unmask the guns in the redoubt, so that I might shell the woods and road in frQnt and on the right. Before I could open fire General Sumner threw out four companies on his left up to the Williamsburg road, and my pickets in front reported the enemy moving to the left. I sent information of the (lemonstration on the left to General Berry, and directed Major Moriarty to hold the stockade on the road leading to our left and to keep his reserve well in hand to support the re-enforcements thrown into the stockade. In the mean time I sent word to Colonel Ca.rr to be in readiness to co- operate with General Berry or myself if necessary. General Grover came to the front to ascertain the state of things, and informed me he would hold his brigade in readiness. No further demonstration was made by the enemy. After waiting until near 6 oclock, Colonel Carr having meanwhile reported to relieve me, I withdrew my regiments when relieved. When I left the front my regiments had all gone to their camps except the Fourth [Seventy-third New York], which was being relieved on picket. Major Moriarty reports to me to-night that our pickets on the left were exposed to a heavy fire just before they were relieved; that him- self and 7 or $ men are wounded, and Captain McCauley is missing and 1 man killed. Major Moriarty reports verbally that except along a l)ortion of the front and right, where our pickets were driven in by greatly superior force, their position was the same as was held during the day and yesterday. Major Moriarty also reports that at least a division of the enemy moved to the left about the time of the advance on the Williamsburo- b road and the firing on our right, and that the last movement of the enemy which was observed from the oak tree was to the right in force. He also expresses the opinion that the enemy occupy the woods on the left and in front in considerable force. Major Moriarty will report in writing to-morrow morning unless his wound should prove to be too painful. I am, captain, very resPectfully, your most obedient servant, D. E. SICKLES, Capt. Jos. DICKINSON, Brigadier- General, Commanding. Assistant Adjutant- General.