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Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 14: movements of the Army of the Potomac.--the Monitor and Merrimack. (search)
ose to sustain him, so far as in his most anxious judgment he consistently could. His last words were--But you must act. McClellan did not heed the closing injunction. Almost a month longer he hesitated in front of Magruder's feebly manned lines, digging parallels, forming batteries and redoubts, and preparing for an assault upon Yorktown with as much caution as did the American and French armies on the same field in 1781 ; He established a depot of supplies at Ship Point, on the Poquosin River, an arm of Chesapeake Bay, near the mouth of the York River. His first parallel was opened at about a mile from Yorktown, and under its protection batteries were established along a curved line extending from the York River on the right to the head of the Warwick River on the left, with a cord about a mile in length. He constructed 14 batteries and 3 redoubts, and fully armed them with heavy siege-guns, some of them 100-pounders and 200-pounders. and at the close of April, when his pre
Lieut. Seymour, of Gen. Morell's staff, pursued the retreating rebels nearly a mile. Firing was kept up on both sides. A rifle-ball grazed the top of Lieut. Seymour's cap. By the time the Stars and Stripes had been planted on the enemy's earthworks, the remaining regiments of Gen. Morell's brigade arrived at the place. They made the surrounding woods ring with their cheers, at sight of the glorious national ensign. The intrenchments consist of only two earthworks on either side of Poquosin River, which at this point is narrow and meandering, to an extent possibly pleasing to one of poetic fancy, but stupidly disgusting to one who has to make his way along by practicable pedestrianism. They are both of most ordinary and plain construction, with a ditch on both sides. On the river is the skeleton remnant of an old mill; so old, I should presume from its appearance, that the memory of the oldest inhabitant could not run back to the time of its construction. The land is rugged, a
ty atmosphere. At daybreak there was a thin fog which in an hour was burned off by the sun; then followed a variable April morning, with sunshine and shower, the air being sufficiently clear to allow us to see upon the shore the peach blossoms which curiously, to our New England eyes, were already unfolded upon thousands of branches. At a point on the Virginia shore below the mouth of the York, perhaps one fourth of the distance from that river to Fortress Monroe, is an inlet called Poquosin River. This indentation, which has a nearly southern trend, is flanked upon the east by a headland called Ship Point. In this bay and off this peninsula we anchored on the 27th of April. The shores of the bay are low and flat, the adjacent waters are comparatively shallow. There were no wharves or piers built out upon the soft marl of the flats. Our debarkation was effected upon the following day by means of scows or coal hulks, a series of which were moored broadside to broadside from th
Chapter 15: The Peninsula campaign of 1862 Yorktown, Williamsburg and Seven Pines. The advance of McClellan's army, moved from Washington by transports, reached Fort Monroe the latter part of March, and on the 2d of April, McClellan in person ordered an advance up the Peninsula of 58,000 men and 100 guns. General Magruder, of the Confederate army, with 11,000 men, opposed his progress nearly at its beginning, from Fortress Monroe to between the mouths of the Warwick and Poquosin rivers, where the divide between these opposite flowing estuaries is narrow; then on a line extending from the James to the York, 13 miles in length, behind Warwick river on the southwest and covering Yorktown on the northeast, which had been admirably fortified throughout its length. Gloucester point, opposite Yorktown, was embraced in these defenses, thus guarding the entrance to the York. Marching his army by two nearly parallel roads, McClellan appeared before this line of defense on the
erth, and a part of the Old Dominion R tl s. Capt. Dickerson. Tuesday evening, June 5th. Capt. Werth was ordered to Bethel Church with his company, and one Howitzer, Capt. Brown commanding, and on the morning of the 6th, Major Montague followed with Capt. Grammer's company, a part of Capt. Dickerson's company, one Hawitzer; Nottoway Cavalry, Capt. Jones; Charles City Cavalry, Capt. Donthat On the evening of the 7th our commander, Major Montague having heard that the enemy were landing on Pocosin River, at the distance of some eight miles from Bethel, immediately ordered his battalion to that post, where it remained until Col. Magruder visited us on the 8th, and ordered the battalion to the Halfway House, two and a half miles from Bethel. On the morning of the 10th. Major Montague, at 1 A. M., marched his battalion to Bethel Church Immediately on reaching the Church, the battalion threw up a small breastwork to the right of the Church, to defend the interior of our camp, and a howitze