War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0266 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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fifth New York Regiment from the forest, and for it not to return there. I cannot rely on troops I have seen from General Couch's division for any assistance should an advance be made on my front. Of this the spectacle of to-day has fully convinced me. The unusual activity of the rebels, the balloon ascension this morning, the shelling of the woods this evening all along my front, and the display of an unusual force this afternoon indicate that they have it in mind to advance. If so, I should have not less than three brigades to spring to the defenses; now I can be whipped before the reserve will get up. De Russy's battery is also gone when there can be no place at which it is so much needed, as there are so many approaches to my position.

I wish these suggestions to be well considered. The problem submitted for my opinion is very unlike the one which exists; in fact, I find Casey was whipped in detail. I desire to avoid such a disaster. Another musketry fire has broken out in front, but I really do not know whether it all comes from my troops, the pickets, or not.


Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

JUNE 27, 1862-6 p.m.

General S. WILLIAMS:

The enemy have watched us very closely since 1 p.m., and opened upon us with one gun, rather as a feeler. He is very industrious, and is studying well our position. Move on my left at the railroad. Think the enemy in some force, but I have no evidence of it.

My picket line is very long, and our position we will do all in our power to hold, but 2 miles is heavy and very fatiguing duty.

I shall report all changes.




June 27, 1862-8 p.m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Have had a terrible contest. Attacked by greatly superior number in all directions on this side; we still hold our own, though a very heavy fire is still kept up on the left bank of Chickahominy. The odds have been immense. We hold our own very nearly. I may be forced to give up my position during the night, but will not if it is possible to avoid it. Had I 20,000 fresh and good troops we would be sure of a splendid victory to-morrow.

My men have fought magnificently.



JUNE 27, 1862-8.55 p.m.


The last attack was all along the line of pickets in my front, and of course they were driven in. Enough is already known of our movements by the enemy to enable them to penetrate our object. This