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[37] to the army in Tennessee, where many troops from Kentucky were serving. Their claim of exemption was not allowed, but they were transferred to the West, as they desired.

By the law of Congress, those regiments who anticipated conscription by re-enlisting, were entitled to reorganize and elect their own officers, and this reorganization and the elections were very generally made during the siege of Yorktown.

Very great changes of officers, particularly of Captains and Lieutenants, resulted from these elections, and while many excellent officers were promoted, many others were entirely thrown out, and the whole effect was very prejudicial to the discipline of the army. A few regiments were entirely dissolved, the men either joining other old organiizations or combining to form new ones.

For some time after the commencement of the siege the designs of the enemy were not apparent, as his principal batteries against Yorktown were kept silent and concealed, and only a distant gunboat threw an occasional heavy shell at the surrounding camps. The sharp-shooters and the field artillery, however, on both sides, were more implacable than ever afterwards, except in the neighborhood of the mine at Petersburg in 1864, and a single man was scarcely able to show himself at any distance, without having some missile sent after him. Meanwhile the Confederate line was much strengthened and improved, as well as shortened, by being bent back from the Warwick at Lee's mill, and resting its right flank on Skiff creek, a large and deep tributary of the James, an elbow of which here approached within a mile of the Warwick. The intrenched camp at Mulberry Island was left as an independent outwork, being difficult to attack by land. The enemy used his balloons constantly to overlook the Confederate positions, and seemed to command a view of everything that was done, but, strange to say, the information from this source seems to be the most unreliable of all that misled the Federal commander as to his adversary's numbers and movements. General Johnston was much more accurately informed, although the character of the lines was very unfavorable for secret service.1

The dangers of the flank on York river, and perhaps some apprehensions of the effect upon his earthworks of the enemy's one hundred

1 A very daring and successful scouting expedition was made by Lieutenant Causey, C. S. A., who was put ashore by a boat at Sewell's Point, on a rainy night, and remained a week within the enemy's lines. He then got possession of a skiff and returned on another favorable night, bringing very accurate returns of the enemy's force and full information of his siege operations.

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Joseph E. Johnston (1)
Causey (1)
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