and were anxious to be first in the works, but the 19th could run either to the front or rear and our flags were the first to float from the fortifications.
We found the portholes filled with Quaker
guns (logs of wood). Men of straw were stationed as gunners.
Every indication of a hasty retreat was shown, as in the camps in the rear of the works we found fires and breakfast smoking hot, which we eagerly disposed of. We also found letters ready for mailing, which went by northern mail instead of southern, as we sent them home.
We marched back to our old camp, packed up, and Monday morning, in a drenching rain, marched from Winn's Mill to Yorktown
We were on the road all night and only made three miles. The mud was knee deep; we could not go out of line as the ground was full of torpedoes, yet, in all our misery, Company A started one of our old camp songs, which was taken up by other companies in the regiment, then by other regiments in the brigade, and soon the entire army was singing.
This continued nearly all night.
The next day we took steamers, and at night arrived at West Point
We remained on board until morning, then landed, and finding our forces engaged we were ordered to support Captain Porter
, 1st Massachusetts battery.
At West Point
we saw a feature that we never saw before, or at any other time during the war. It was a human telegraph.
A line of men was deployed some twenty feet apart, and extended from the line of battle to headquarters.
The men at the front would start the message, and it would be repeated by each turning the head to the rear as he spoke.
One message I remember,--“Send a man to take Daniel Webster's place.”
We supposed Daniel
had been shot, but