the editors, stating that they witnessed the explosion of concealed shells or torpedoes at Yorktown — among them Fred T. Locke, assistant adjutant-general to Fitz John Porter, director of the siege, and Colonel Edward C. James, of the engineer corps. General Locke wrote in May, 1885:
On the morning of May 4th, 1862, our picketations I saw a number of large shells, placed so that they could easily be fired by persons unaware of their presence.
The Official Records show that General Fitz John Porter referred to the buried shells in his report of the siege, and General William F. Barry, Inspector of Artillery, made a statement in detail, in a communication to army headquarters, August 25th, 1863.
Porter's statement is that when the advance detachments entered Yorktown the command
on the left was fired upon from the Red Fort.
Those on the right experienced some losses from shells planted in the ground, which exploded when trod upon.
Many of these shells were concealed in