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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

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

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

                                                            [Inclosure No. 1.]
                                                                HEADQUARTERS FOURTH CORPS,
                                                                              May 20, 1862.
SIR: As the orders for the engineers to examine Bottoms Bridge, and above and below, came from general headquarters and are explicit, I have made a detail of a brigade from Couch's division to assist in the reconnaissance. My orders also direct that as small a force as possible must be exposed to the view of the enemy. Under such circumstances I deem it proper to order that you do not under any circumstances expose any portion of your command to the view of the enemy at or near Bottoms Bridge during your reconnaissance to-day.
                I remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
                                                                                             E.D. KEYES,
                                                      Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.

                  Brig. Gen. SILAS CASEY,
                            Commanding Division.


                                                             [Inclosure No. 2.]
                                                                 HEADQUARTERS CASEYS DIVISION,
                                                     Near Cross-Roads, May 20, 1862.
CAPTAIN: In answer to your communication of this days date I have the honor to reply that as soon as I saw General Naglee after receiving your orders I communicated them to him. I saw him soon after he had taken possession of the railroad bridge across the Chickahominy.
                    Very respectfully, your obedient servant
                                                                  SILAS CASEY,
                               Brigadier-General Volunteers, Commanding Division.

                Capt. C.C. SUYDAM,
                          Assistant Adjutant-General.


                                                                                    MAY 20, 1862.
Brigadier-General Casey is respectfully requested to ascertain from Brigadier-General Naglee his reasons for disobedience to the orders referred to by me.
                            E.D. KEYES,
                Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.

Respectfully referred to Brigadier-General Naglee, who will report at once on this matter.
By order of Brigadier-General Casey:

                        C.H. RAYMOND,
                    Lieutenant and

                                                                   [Inclosure No. 3.]
                                                                           CAMP NEAR RAILROAD,
                                                           Three Miles from Chickahominy, May 20, 1862.

CAPTAIN: In answer to the indorsement upon the communication of General Casey to Captain Suydamn, of even date herewith, I would reply that I went by verbal orders from General Casey to the Chickahominy, by the way of the railroad, with the purpose first to ascertain the situation of the railroad bridge and to secure it, and then to drive the enemy to the right bank of that stream that the left bank might be examined. The first-purpose was accomplished before General Casey had come upon the ground, and two companies of skirmishers had deployed into the swamp, and had already advanced half of the distance between the railroad bridge and Bottoms Bridge before General Casey came upon the ground, and informed me of what was then for the first time made known to me, that General Barnard was below Bottom's Bridge making a reconnaissance. it was then too late and impossible to recall my skirmishers, who had been instructed to hold the entire left bank of the Chickahominy from 1,200 feet above the railroad bridge along that bank as far as we might proceed.
The above was fully explained to general Keyes. The force upon the ground was not my brigade, but two regiments only, numbering about 1,200.
If any interference has occurred it has been through some misapprehension, and certainly with no intention or even knowledge of any interference.

                        Very respectfully, &c.,
                                    HENRY M. NAGLEE,

                Capt. HENRY W. SMlTH,
                             Assistant Adjutant-General. 

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

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