I learn by steamer from Yorktown that Gen. McClellan has advanced 12 miles beyond Williamsburg, and has had several skirmishes with the enemy, routing them with heavy loss. The embarkation of our troops for West Point was progressing rapidly. A heavy battle had taken place on Wednesday, P. M. between the troops under Gen. Franklin and Sedgwick, and the rebels under Lee, who were endeavoring to make their way to Richmond. It is said to have been the severest battle on the peninsula, and the rebels were totally defeated and flanked, being driven pack towards the forces under Gen. Johnston. The whole number of federal killed and wounded is 300.
The enemy were driven back by our gunboats with great slaughter. They had not less than 30,000 men, whilst our whole force was not over 20,000. Had it not been for the gunboats, they would have been defeated.
Deserters from the enemy report there was great excitement at Norfolk this morning; that Gen. Burnside with a large force was within a few miles of Weldon, and the rebels are evacuating the city at all possible speed. Sewall’s and Pig Point, they say, are already abandoned, and preparations are making to destroy the navy yard and other public property.
– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Saturday Morning, May 10, 1862, p. 1