Report of Brig. Gen. Silas Casey, U. S. Army, commanding division, of operations May 20.
HEADQUARTERS CASEY'S DIVISION,May 23, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with the authority given me to make such reconnaissance as I might think proper to the north and west, I proceeded to organize one on the morning of the 20th instant, the cay after the arrival of my division. I directed General Naglee, with two regiments, to proceed down the rail-road, and, if possible, to the bridge across the Chickahominy. With two batteries of artillery and one regiment of infantry I proceeded to the road leading to Bottoms Bridge and thence along a road passing to the right. I placed the guns near the railroad and about halt a mile from the bridge, where the road crosses the Chickahominy. I soon went down near the bridge and found General Naglee, who had been successful in driving in the enemy's pickets and taking the bridge, extinguishing the fire which had been communicated to the structure by the enemy. I found that he had some time previous to my arrival deployed a line of skirmishers along the river bottom.
Soon after my arrival the enemy brought down to the opposite end of the bridge three pieces of artillery, and endeavored to drive away our sharpshooters, in which they did not succeed. I ordered four pieces of artillery to be brought down and placed near the bridge, and soon succeeded in driving the enemy's pieces from their position. I remained on the ground until 5 o'clock, when I gave orders to repair the bridge and for the pickets to cross over as soon as this was accomplished. A short time after the pickets were ordered away from the bridge, as I was informed by General Devens, but not until a number had succeeded in crossing. The result of the reconnaissance was to put us in possession of the bridge and supply important information which had been sought for some days.
The conduct of General Naglee was prompt and skillful and the troops behaved well. I inclose his report.
SILAS CASEY,Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
Capt. C.C. SUYDAM,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)