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Saturday, August 27, 2016

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

Peck & Staff, Tennallytown, DC, 1862

Report of Brig. Gen. John J. Peck, U. S. Army, commanding brigade, of operations May 20.

                                                            HEADQUARTERS PECKS BRIGADE*,
                                                      Near Providence Church, Va., May 20, 1862.

In obedience to instructions, my brigade and two batteries were held in readiness until about 12 m. this day to support a reconnaissance to be made by General Barnard. On receiving an intimation that the general had passed on, I pushed forward my command with all speed to the front. From the time of leaving camp, artillery fire was heard at intervals in the direction of the railroad bridge.

On joining General Barnard, I stated that I had my brigade and two batteries ready to support him in his reconnaissance, and requested him to state the dispositions he desired to make. After a consultation, I gave the general two companies of infantry and Lieutenant Comstock two more, and established some eight companies on the flanks for observation, screened by the woods. The balance of my command, including Colonel Gregg's cavalry, I placed in close proximity, but out of view of the enemy's pickets, in accordance with my own judgment and directions received personally from General Keyes.

While making these dispositions the firing was continued on the right by troops of General Casey's division. A section of one of his batteries was advanced down into the Bottom's Bridge road with infantry supports. This battery kept up a rapid fire, with but little or no response from the enemy, until after the close of the reconnaissance. This movement of General Casey's on to my front was wholly unnecessary, inasmuch as the ground was already occupied with Colonel Russell's Seventh Massachusetts Regiment, placed there by General Couch, and the whole of my command being in hand. In my judgment the fire of the artillery must have in some degree embarrassed the reconnaissance of General Barnard.

At the conclusion of the generals examination I reported to General Keyes, and in accordance with his directions brought away my command a little after 5 p.m., save the Ninety-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, which was left in support of the front.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                                                          JOHN J. PECK,

                       Capt. C. C. SUYDAM,
                          Asst. Adjt. Gen., Headquarters Keyes Fourth Corps.

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

* 98th Pennsylvania: Col John F. Ballier
  102nd Pennsylvania: Col Thomas A. Rowley
  93rd Pennsylvania: Col James M. McCarter
  62nd New York: Col John L. Riker
  55th New York: Col P. Regis de Trobriand

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