The Battle of Williamsburg, fought on May 5, 1862, was the first battle of theduring the (1861–1865). Union general , in an attempt to march his up the Peninsula between the York and rivers, had initially stalled at Yorktown, where he feared his 130,000 men faced perhaps 40,000 Confederates. In fact, John B. Magruder‘s force numbered between 11,000 and 15,000. McClellan spent a month preparing for a siege, and when he was finally ready to advance, Magruder retreated to Williamsburg. There, on May 5, the advancing Union army met the Confederate rearguard, under , in a daylong and inconclusive battle. The battle turned particularly fierce at what became known as the “bloody ravine,” where, in the , Union soldiers from New York and New Jersey fought under and . After various attacks and counterattacks, the day ended with Confederate general ‘s men being cut down as they charged across a field and through a farmyard. The next day, Confederate forces continued to retreat toward the capital at , and events at Williamsburg were largely overshadowed by the fierce fighting that lay ahead.