near the mouth of the Pamunkey
, the gunboats having anchored somewhat below the point whither our transports were tending, the forces must still have been engaged at Williamsburg
It would then seem that the object of the expedition up the York
, and the engagement of Franklin
's division the next day, on the right bank of that river, must have been to intercept the Confederate
force retiring from Yorktown
, and to form a junction with McClellan
's main army.
A conversation audible to men in the vicinity of the speakers, between Gen. Franklin
on the side of a steamboat and Col. Arnold
on a barge alongside, rendered it probable to listeners that up to that moment no scheme for landing the artillery had been projected, unless in the mind of the colonel.
But he proved himself then and afterward fertile in expedients, and he briefly detailed to his chief the main particulars of a plan which was subsequently carried out.
Now we saw from one of the foremost vessels, infantry and engineers landed in boats; the latter doubtless opened the inclined pathway up the side of the bluff.
We saw later, cavalry horses let over the side of a vessel and taken one after another to the shore; so this arm of our corps must have been upon the plateau early in the evening, and have been deployed from the Pamunkey
across to the York
, where the gunboats lay.
Gradually the barges were moved into position as at Ship Point
, so that, the infantry having gone ashore during the night, the guns, caissons, and all the wagons were landed.
At daybreak, our carriages, being upon the beach, were drawn up the side of the bluff, several pairs of horses other than those usually attached to each piece or caisson, being required for the purpose; this business was speedily despatched, when ‘Boots and saddles!’
We marched to the east, leaving the Pamunkey
behind us, having the York
upon our left, and before us across the open country was a thick wood.
Seemingly in less than one half-hour we were in position with infantry, and more artillery upon our right and left, and were ordered to shell the wood in our front.
While our guns were thus engaged, the gunboats in the York
were sending through the air their huge projectiles, which sounded in their course like the thundering noise of a heavy freight train.
After an interval of rapid firing, during which time a captain of infantry with his