This work was doubtless commenced some days before, and was conducted with skill and energy.
On the 3d, with a view of masking their retreat, the fire of their batteries was unusually severe.
The Confederates left behind them all their heavy guns, eighty in number, each piece supplied with seventy-six rounds of ammunition.
A large amount of warlike stores of every description was also abandoned or destroyed.
The evacuation is said to have been the result of a council of war at which President Davis
and Generals Lee
were present, and to have been very distasteful to General Magruder
, the officer in command, who did not like to retire from his works without a fight.
The battle of Williamsburg.
After the evacuation of Yorktown
, the next important point before the Federal
army was the city of Williamsburg
, the Colonial capital of Virginia
It is about ten miles from Yorktown
, and is on the narrowest part of the peninsula between the James
and York Rivers
, being about three miles from the former; and five and a quarter from the latter.
On the 4th of May, immediately after the evacuation of Yorktown
, a portion of the army was put in motion to pursue the flying foe, and General Franklin
's division was ordered to move by water to the vicinity of West Point
, to cut off the enemy's retreat in that direction.