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Sunday, July 31, 2016

MAY 20-23, l862.- Operations about Bottoms Bridge, Chickahominy River, Va- I

Today begins a lengthy and rather detailed examination of the operations of the Fourth Corps of the Army of the Potomac in the Bottoms Bridge area during May of 1862.

 Reports of Brig. Gen. Erasmus D. Keyes, U.S. Army, commanding Fourth Corps, of operations May 20-21.

                                                HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
                                              Camp near Bottoms Bridge, Va., May 20, 1862-11.30 a.m.

GENERAL: I have to report the result of a reconnaissance made by Major Harlow and party, of Colonel Russell's Seventh Massachusetts Volunteers, this morning. The party, consisting of Captains Holman1 and Whitcomb's2 companies, got into the skirt of the woods this side just before daylight. Captain Holman saw the bridge. It appeared to have been blown up in the center. They were fired upon on reaching the woods from rifle pits on the opposite bank. One sergeant is missing and one man wounded. It is thought that the sergeant had strayed off to the left. The river at the bridge is 10 yards wide; the swamp perhaps 60 or 100. I inclose a copy of a sketch sent in by Colonel Russell.*
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
                                                E.D. KEYES,
                               Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.
            Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS,
                        A.A.G., Army of the Potomac.
*Not found

                                             HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
                                         Camp near Bottoms Bridge, Va., May 21, 1862- 6.45 a.m.
GENERAL: 1 have the honor to report that at daylight this morning Colonel Russell pushed one of his companies across at Bottoms Bridge. His companies on the railroad have also thrown a picket over at that point. He has at the former, besides his own four companies, a regiment to support him. He reports that during the night he partially laid the railroad bridge, so that infantry can pass, and that he can soon repair Bottoms Bridge.
I have already telegraphed to you for instruction in the matter of building the bridges. I can, if it is thought advisable, throw over a considerable force, but will not make any further advance movement until receiving instructions.
 Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                                             E.D. KEYES,
                     Brigadier-General, Commanding Corps.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS,
                     Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.

P.S.- Colonel Gregg writes that his pickets also have crossed at Bottoms Bridge; that he has taken a deserter. He has not yet arrived, however, and I do not delay sending this to take his examination.

- The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 11 (Part I)

Holman, George F. — 2d Lieut. — Res. Cambridge; lawyer; 23; comm. and must. June 15, 1861; comm. 1st Lieut., Aug. 1, 1861; comm. Captain, Oct. 11, 1861; disch. Sept. 9, 1862, on Surgeon's Certif. of Disability, as Captain of Co. "C." See Co. "D" 2d Mass. Cav.: disch. May 15, 1865.

Whitcomb, John R. — Captain — Res. Mansfield; blacksmith; 34; comm. and must. June 15,1861 ; must, out June 27, 1864. comm. Capt. Asst. Quartermaster U.S. Volunteers, June 30, 1864. must, out June 10 1866.

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