Williamsburg, VA

Date(s): May 5, 1862

Location: Please click on link below for map.

Williamsburg, Virginia, United States

Campaign(s): Peninsula Campaign [March-September 1862]

Battles in Campaign:



  • Union: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan

  • Confederate: Maj. Gen. James Longstreet

Principal Forces:

  • Union: 40,768

  • Confederate: 31,823


  • Hooker’s division was pursuing the Confederate forces that had retreated from Yorktown when he encountered the Confederate rearguard near Williamsburg.

  • Hooker attacked 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.

  • Then Hancock’s brigade moved to threaten the Confederate left flank and occupied two abandoned redoubts. 

  • Confederate counterattacks were unsuccessful.

  • Hancock failed to exploit the Union success and the Confederate army withdrew during the night.

Photo Gallery:2

Williamsburg in the Civil War

Battle Sites Around Williamsburg

Magruder's Defensive Lines Across the Peninsula

Magruder's Defensive Lines Across the Peninsula

Redoubt Number 1

Redoubt Number 1

Redoubt Number 1

Redoubt Number 1

Redoubt Number 1

Redoubt Number 1

Redoubt Number 1

Battle of Williamsburg - Emory's Failed Attack

Quarterpath Road

Quarterpath Road

Johnston and McClellan Used Road

Site of One of Magruder's Lines of Defense

Site of Battle of Williamsburg

Trench Lines Barely Visible from Road

Description of Fort Magruder

Marker at Fort Magruder site which served as the center of the last Confederate line of defense on the Peninsula

Fort Magruder Site

Lt. George Custer's attack on Confederate works

Jones Mill Pond

Jones Mill Pond


Classification3: B


  • Union: 2,283

  • Confederate: 1,560

Results: Inconclusive

Battlefield Websites: 

Lodging and Restaurants: Virginia Tourism

Recommended Resources:

1 National Park Service summary.

2 Please click on the image to enlarge it. You may copy the images if you include the following note and link with each image: "Courtesy of civil-war-journeys.org."

3 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

4 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 12/23/2014