In the first pitched battle of the Peninsular Campaign, nearly 41,000 Federals and 32,000 Confederates were engaged.
Following up the Confederate retreat from Yorktown, Union General Joseph Hooker's division encountered the Confederate rearguard near Williamsburg. General Hooker assaulted Fort Magruder, an earthen fortification alongside the Williamsburg Road, but was repulsed.
Confederate counter attacks, directed by Major General 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.
Location: York County and Williamsburg
Campaign: Peninsular Campaign (March-September 1862) next battle in campaign previous battle in campaign
Date(s): May 5, 1862
Principal Commanders: Major General George B. McClellan [US]; Major General James Longstreet [CS]
Forces Engaged: 72,591 total (US 40,768;CS 31,823)
Estimated Casualties: 3,843 total (US 2,283; CS 1,560)