Williamsburg Battlefield

The Battle of Williamsburg
May 5, 1862

In the first pitched battle of the Peninsula Campaign, nearly 41,000 Federals and 32,000 Confederates were engaged.  Following up the Confederate retreat from Yorktown, Hooker’s division encountered the Confederate rearguard near Williamsburg. Hooker assaulted Fort Magruder, an earthen fortification alongside the Williamsburg Road, but was repulsed. Confederate counterattacks, directed by Maj. Gen. James Longstreet, threatened to overwhelm the Union left flank, until Kearny’s division arrived to stabilize the Federal position. Hancock’s brigade then moved to threaten the Confederate left flank, occupying two abandoned redoubts.  The Confederates counterattacked unsuccessfully. Hancock’s localized success was not exploited. The Confederate army continued its withdrawal during the night.


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Battle Facts


  • Peninsula Campaign

Battles In This Campaign


  • York County and Williamsburg, Virginia


  • May 5, 1862

Union Commander

Confederate Commander

Forces Engaged

  • 40,768 Union Union Flag
  • 31,823 Confederate Confederate Flag

Estimated Casualties

  • 2,283 UnionUnion Flag
  • 1,560 ConfederateConfederate Flag


  • Inconclusive

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