Numbers 2. Report of Captain Wilhelm Heine,
Volunteer Topographical Engineer.
FORT MONROE, VA., August 21, 1862.
GENERAL: Respectfully I submit the following report:
According to instructions received on Saturday, June 28, at 5.20 I embarked on board the steam-tug C. P. Smith with the usual escort of 40 men, commanded by Captain Lee, Ninety-ninth New York Volunteers, and proceeded up James River. At 11.10 o'clock I reached the gunboat flotilla, and at 11.25 o'clock I handed the dispatch addressed to the senior naval officer to Commander McKinstry, U. S. Navy, on board the United Stated sloop of war Dacotah. He could not supply me with a pilot; therefore I had to anchor for the night at the mouth of the Chickahominy.
On Sunday, the 29th, at daylight, Captain Lee went ashore in the cutter and brought on board a negro well acquainted with the locality, who piloted us in and up the Chickahominy River. At 11 o'clock we got aground, but gor off again after a short delay, and having communicated to the commanding officer the object of my mission, and requested him to render to Captain Lee such assistance as the emergency of the case might require, I went, as directed, ashore with the prescribed escort of 6 men and a noncommissioned. officer. The Windsor Shades are situated on the northeast shore of the Chickahominy, at the end of a narrow neck of land, flanked on both sides by an impenetrable swamp. The southwest shore for miles above and below is also a dense swamp, rendering the position favorable for defense. Two roads lead at about right angles from it-one toward New Kent Court-House, the other toward Long Bridge; at that time, as I had reason to believe, in possession of our troops. I took the latter. The bridge marked on the map Forge Bridge was burned; the ford near an old mill impassable on account of the high water. Some negroes on a plantation warned me that the enemy's cavalry was on the other side of the Chickahominy in the lower White Oak Swamp and on the road toward Charles City Court-House. Anxious to reach General McClellan's headquarters, I pushed on without delay and near sunset got up to Long Bridge. This was also burned; the river unfordable, and so I pushed on toward Bottom's Bridge. About this time firing of cannon and musketry could be heard in that direction, receding toward Richmond. With my nearly exhausted men I hastened on, and reached Bottom's Bridge at about 11 p. m. Here all was darkness and silence. The firing had ceased; a drizzling rain made the night still darker. No trace of living beings could be discovered, and exhausted we laid down in the road close to the destroyed bridge to wait until daylight.
Daylight of Monday, the 30th, came, but no traces of either friend or foe could be discovered. Finding the river unfordable, we went as far as the railroad bridge. This, as well as an ammunition train on it, was on fire. We crossed the swamp on fragments of railroad cars, boxes, &c., and marched up the railroad, where firing of skirmishers was heard. One sick soldier of the Sixty-third New York was lying on the track. his mind was wandering and he gave a confused account of the fight of the previous day. A short distance farther a rebel sentinel stood on the edge of the wood. Corporal Young, of the Ninety