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[11] we find awaiting us here in various parts of the works. Here is one copied from a sand-bag on the grand parapet:
follow us, and we will give you what you won't need. Just come out A few miles. All we want is A Fair showing.

Is this a delphic utterance veiling some mysterious danger in wait for us ahead, or possibly a weak invention of the enemy? Here is another which, if not specific, is at least expressive of a certain courageous mortification at the last rebel skedaddle:

To the B'hoys from Lincolndom — from Dixie.

Yorktown, May 2.
We leave you by order of our superiors, but we do so with the consolation of meeting you soon again. Know, gentlemen, that we are more anxious to do so now than ever before. The war has just begun. You will have to contest every inch of ground with us after this. For this is the last time we obey orders to retreat without trying your mettle, let them emanate from whom they may; and ours are the feelings of every soldier from Louisiana.

We are, with the compliments of the non-commissioned officers and privates of company E, First battery heavy artillery,

One more specimen, and you will see that the “internal evidence” of rebel intentions is at least conflicting:

To Gen. McClellan and Command:
The Fortieth Alabama regiment have been sitting very quiet for the last four hours, listening to our guns belching vengeance to your lines. You might as well attempt to change the run of the James River as to subjugate the Confederacy.

Vale! Vale!

Co. K, 40th Ala.

II. Why have the rebels not been so completely surrounded that any movement would have been utterly impossible without a battle?

Perhaps because Gen. McDowell's command was ordered to Fredericksburgh, and its control taken away from Gen. McClellan, at the moment when the latter had ordered it to proceed to Urbana, on the Rappahannock, and push for the rebel rear. Perhaps because the Merrimac has prevented such boats as Commodore Goldsborough has had from sailing up the rivers. Perhaps because McClellan had landed all his force at Old Point before knowing that he was to be deprived of McDowell's corps d'armee. Perhaps because we are getting thus far bravely on to Richmond and all is as well as it could be. Probably from a combination of all these and other causes. It is not yet time, nor has any one yet the power, to write a fair and faithful history of this campaign.

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