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My next step was to request the Secretary of War, General Randolph, and the Secretary of the Navy, Mallory, to proceed to Yorktown and Norfolk to see whether the evacuation could not be postponed, and to make all practicable arrangements to remove the machinery, material, ordnance, and supplies for future use. At the suggestion of the Secretary of War, I agreed that he should first go with the Secretary of the Navy to Norfolk and thence pass over to Yorktown.

On the next morning they left for Norfolk. General Randolph, in his testimony before a joint special committee of the Confederate Congress, said:

A few hours after we arrived in Norfolk, an officer from General Johnston's army made his appearance, with an order for General Huger to evacuate Norfolk immediately. . . . As that would have involved heavy losses in stores, munitions, and arms, I took the responsibility of giving General Huger a written order to delay the evacuation until he could remove such stores, munitions, and arms as could be carried off. . . . Mr. Mallory was with me and gave similar instructions to the commandant of the navy-yard. . . . The evacuation was delayed for about a week. . . . When the council of war met [the conference with the President heretofore referred to], it was supposed that, if the enemy assaulted our army at the Warwick River line, we should defeat them; but that, if instead of assaulting they made regular approaches to either flank of the line and took advantage of their great superiority of heavy artillery, the probability would be that one flank or both of the army would be uncovered, and thus the enemy, ascending the York and James Rivers in transports, could turn the flank of the army and compel it to retreat. . . . They made regular approaches, mounted the largest-sized guns, such as we could not compete with, and made the position of Yorktown untenable. Nearly all of our heavy rifled guns burst during the siege. The remainder of the heavy guns were in the water-batteries. . . .

The permanent occupation of Norfolk after our army withdrew from the lower Peninsula and the enemy possessed it was so obviously impossible as not to require explanation; while the enemy was engaged in the pursuit of our retreating columns, it was deemed justifiable to delay the evacuation of Norfolk for the purposes indicated in the above answer of the Secretary of War. The result justified the decision.

The order for the withdrawal of the army from the line of the Warwick River on the night of April 2d was delayed until the next night because, as I have been informed, some of the troops were not ready to move. Heavy cannonading, on the nights of both the 2d and 3d, concealed the fact of the purpose to withdraw, and the evacuation was made so successfully, as appears by the testimony before the United States congressional committee on the conduct of the war, that the enemy was surprised the next morning to find the lines unoccupied.

The loss of public property, as was anticipated, was great, the

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