After gaining the requisite knowledge of the locality by thus drawing the enemy's fire, the regiment was halted where it was partially sheltered in a ravine and remained there two hours, subjected to a vigorous fire from the guns of the works.
At nightfall they were withdrawn.
The officers and men behaved admirably and called forth General Dana
's hearty commendation.
and Privates Patrick Murphy
and David Duran
of Company K were wounded, and Private Andrew Fontain
, of Company D, was killed,—being the first man in the regiment to be killed.
During the reconnoisance a drizzling rain had prevailed and everything and everybody was thoroughly soaked.
At night the men were stationed in an old cornfield with one foot on one hill and another on the other, with several inches of water between them.
In this position, steaded by their muskets, many of them stood up all night.
The officers were huddled together into a half dozen Sibley
tents hastily put up. The ground was so wet that it was impossible to keep dry and the water ran in sheets under and through these tents.
On the following day the army moved forward to the close investment of the enemy's works.
was placed in command of the left wing, consisting of his own and the Fourth Corps.
He was in front of the line of the Warwick
, while the Third Corps was charged with the operations against Yorktown
's Division held the line along the front of the fortifications at Winn's Mills.
On the day after the investment was made, Lieut. Col. Devereux
was, by Special Order, placed in charge of 3000 men, who worked day and night in the erection of the batteries and redoubts for the reduction of the works in front of the division.
The enemy's position extended across the Peninsula
, on the York River
, to Warwick
, on Warwick Creek, a small stream which emptied into the James
From the natural defence of this creek, which they had dammed at Winn's Mills and Lee's Mills, and the conformity of the flooded land in that vicinity, the enemy were, by a comparatively short line of works, able to command all the roads up the Peninsula