The roads are execrable at one point near this. The empty ambulances could not get through, and a road had to be cut through the woods.
This dispatch has been delayed in the hope that I might get some positive information to send, but I have as yet not succeeded.
It will be as much as the wagons can do to arrive here during the whole day, and considering the proximity to the river, I am more and more of opinion that a large force should be sent up from below to protect them. The engineers are now out making a reconnaissance. As soon as they return I will make another report.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
E. D. KEYES,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
One mile beyond Warwick Court-House, April 5, 1862-3 p.m.
Brigadier General R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff:
SIR: I am in receipt of your mote of this date of 9.50 a.m.
I am stopped by the enemy's works at Lee's Mill, which offer a severe resistance. The road through the woods for nearly a mile having become absolutely impassable for artillery, I am cutting a new road through. One battery is replying to the enemy and another is nearly or quite through.
The whole of Smith's division is in front of the woods and moving up, and I have just detached Graham's brigade (Couch's division) to my left and front to intercept the enemy's riflemen, which General Smith reports have gone down Warwick River to their right.
I have not been able yet to ascertain the strength of the enemy. His position is a strong one, and I learn from a mulatto, who appears to be quite intelligent, that Warwick River is nowhere fordable, having been dammed up in several places all the way to the pond at the head of it, which is only a few miles from Yorktown. He states also that there are fortifications in a number of places along the river. Mulberry Island is therefore a very strong place. The river is without bridges, and a canal-boat near the mill was burned this morning. The mulatto also states that the enemy are very much afraid of the gunboats, which they except to attack Yorktown, and says that they will retreat if the boats appear.
I have still one brigade left at Warwick Court-House, and I deem it necessary to have them remain there until relieved.
Young's Mill is also a very strong place; is defensible on both sides, and a force should also be stationed there.
Inclosed I send you the result of the examination of three prisoners, belonging to the Tenth Georgia Regiment, and just now brought within our lines.
5.15 p.m.-Since writing the above Smith has continued to engaged the enemy in front, and he can hold his right, to see if he can turn their works. I have sent two regiments of Graham's brigade down to our left, and he reports that he has discovered a battery 2 or 3 miles below the works we were previously engaging above. He was fired upon from two guns.
About two hours ago the enemy were seen filing out of their works and going down the Warwick River, and I this moment learn from