American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Williamsburg
Brig. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s division encountered the Confederate rearguard near Williamsburg early on May 5, 1862. 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 Brig. Gen. Phil Kearny’s division arrived to stabilize the Federal position. Brig. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock’s brigade then attacked the Confederate left flank, occupying two abandoned redoubts. The Confederates counterattacked unsuccessfully and Hancock’s small success was not exploited. The Confederate army continued its withdrawal northward during the night.