War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0265 Chapter XXX. SKIRMISH AT WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

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take and hold Williamsburg and Fort Magruder, and that he expresses his determination to do so. The prisoners say that their attack yesterday would have succeeded if the infantry that came around in rear of our cavalry camp had not been late. They also report that Longstreet was to have attacked Suffolk and Fitzhugh Lee Gloucester at the same time that Wise assailed our front. Colonel West thinks that it will be difficult to hold his position without more infantry, He would also like two more 12-pounders. Unless he can be thus re-enforced he advises an abandonment of the present line and the establishment of a new and shorted one, say in the neighborhood of the brick hospital. A tug-boat came down James River as far as King's Mill Landing yesterday and went up gain. Wise with his troops, is still at Williamsburg awaiting re-enforcements, as is said, through the attack may be renewed at any moment. All quiet thus far to-day.

RUFUS KING,

Brigadier-General.

Major-General KEYES.

YORKTOWN, April 12, 1863-4 p. m.

Colonel West telegraphed an hour ago that the enemy were reported to be advancing, and that his troops were under arms; but as we have heard no firing, the report was probably unfounded.

Fourteen rebel prisoners, two of them lieutenants, have arrived here from Magruder. They will sent to Fort Monroe in the morning. Are we to continue to supply the patients in the insane asylum at Williamsburg?

RUFUS KING,

Brigadier-General.

Major-General KEYES, Norfolk.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,

April 12, 1863-4 p. m.

Brigadier-General KING, Yorktown, Va.:

Until you receive further dispatches from me, do as circumstances require; but I do not advise sending up any artillery to Williamsburg. I think it will be far more dangerous to withdraw from that line than to hold it.

E. D. KEYES,

Major-General.

P. S.-Keep me advised by telegraph.

YORKTOWN, MA., April 12, 1863.

I do not think the line of defense now established will be given up. Colonel West is confident that he can hold his ground. No change will be made at Gloucester Point unless unforeseen circumstances require it. I shall keep a gunboat lying off Queen's Creek, which will communicate with Colonel West.

Three more prisoners were brought in to-night and others on the way Everything quiet.

RUFUS KING,

Brigadier-General.

Major-General KEYES.