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[121]

McClellan before Yorktown.

the reappearance down the Elizabeth of that marine monster and her three satellite gunboats; and Com. Goldsborough did not feel justified in detaching a part of them to reduce the water batteries at Yorktown and Gloucester. The Commodore does not seem to have been asked to clear the Warwick river of Rebel gunboats — if, indeed, any were there. Magruder seems wholly unconscious of ever having had any naval assistance.

McClellan felt of the Rebel lines at different points, but did not, though aware that time was precious, and that a few days might greatly increase the number of his foes, venture to order a determined assault.1 On the contrary, he sat down before Magruder's lines, began to throw up earthworks, and sent orders to Washington for siege-guns. Pressing too close to Yorktown, the besiegers were repulsed by a sudden charge of two battalions under Col. Ward. On tile 16th, a reconnoissance in force by the 2d division of the 4th corps, Gen. W. F. Smith, was made at Dam

1 Magruder says:

On every portion of my lines, he attacked us with a furious cannonading and musketry, which was responded to with effect by our batteries and troops of the line. His skirmishers were also well thrown forward on this and the succeeding day, and energetically felt our whole line; but were everywhere repulsed by the steadiness of our troops. Thus, with 5,000 men. exclusive of the garrisons, we stopped and held in check over 100,000 of the enemy. Every preparation was made in anticipation of another attack by the enemy. The men slept in tho trenches and under arms; but, to my utter surprise, he permitted day after day to elapse without an assault.

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