The Calvin Shedd Papers > Background > Battle of Williamsburg

Battle of Williamsburg

Date(s) of Letter(s) Boatner, Mark M. The Civil War Dictionary.  New York: David McKay Company, Inc., 1959.  
May 19, 1862
The Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia, part of the Peninsular Campaign, took place on May 4 and 5, 1862.   The Federal cavalry, led by General George Stoneman, followed the retreat of General Magruder's retreat from Yorktown.  On May 5, the Federals attacked the line of defenses that Magruder had constructed.  They were reinforced late in the afternoon by other forces.  The campaign was slowed by bad roads, deep mud and rain.  During the night, the Confederates continued their withdrawal up the Peninsula.  Of the 40,768 Federal troops engaged, there were 2,239 casualties, of whom 456 were killed and 373 missing.  The Confederate strength was 31,283, of whom 1,603 were lost.  (Boatner, pp. 928-929)