Today in History:

98 Series I Volume XI-II Serial 13 - Peninsular Campaign Part II


I annex a table of the loss in my corps.* I have no reports of the loss in General Palmer's brigade.

Respectfully submitted.



General S. WILLIAMS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Army of the Potomac, Harrison's Bar.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Camp near Harrison's Bar, Va., July 21, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to make a report of the operations of my corps after the action of the 25th of June, and to include the battle of Glendale, or Nelson's Farm.

On the night of the 28th of June I received orders to withdraw the troops of my corps from the advanced position they had taken of the 25th of June, and to occupy the intrenched lines about a mile in rear. A map was sent me showing the positions General Sumner's and General Franklin's corps would occupy. About sunrise the next day our troops slowly fell back to the new position, cautiously followed by the enemy, taking possession of our camps as soon as we left them. From some misapprehension General Sumner held a more advanced position than was indicated on the map furnished me, thus leaving a space of about three-fourths of a mile between the right of his corps and General Smith's division of General Franklin's corps.

The night of the 27th of June I was sent for to general headquarters, and was there informed of the determination to change our base of operations of James River. I returned to my headquarters at Savage Station, where I remained on the 28th and the 29th, urging the artillery and wagons across the railroad. I had another crossing prepared a short distance below, which much facilitated the operation. By 10.30 a.m. the second day all had passed.

At 11 a.m. on the 29th the enemy commenced an attack on General Sumner's troops, a few shells falling within my lines. Late in the forenoon reports reached me that the rebels were in possession of Dr. Trent's house, only 1 1/2 miles from Savage Station. I sent several cavalry reconnaissances, and finally was satisfied of the fact. General Franklin came to my headquarters, when I learned of the interval between his left and General Sumner's right, in which space Dr. Trent's house is; also that the rebels had repaired one of the bridges across the Chickahominy and were advancing.

About 2 p.m. General Smith's division commenced to appear in the large field to the north of Savage's, and in a few minutes he and General Franklin rode up. I learned from the that the enemy was advancing in force, and of the necessity for General Sumner to fall back to connect with General Smith's left. I rode forward to see General Sumner, and met his troops falling back on the Williamsburg road through my lines. General Sumner informed me that he intended to make a stand at Savage Station, and for me to join him to determine upon the position. This movement of General Sumner's uncovering my right flank, it became necessary for me at once withdraw my troops. I directed General Kearny,who was on the left of the road, to fall back so soon as General Sumner's troops were out of the way,


*Embodied in revised statement, pp.26-28.