During the night, the enemy kept up a brisk fire of shells upon the parallels where the men were at work.
On the next morning the enemy opened fire with their Columbiade, mounted on the heights of Yorktown
, but at its 23d discharge, it burst into a thousand pieces.
This seemed to be the only gun capable of competing with McClellan
's heavy siege guns, and, after it burst, the enemy ceased to fire, although the Union
cannonade was continued with increased vigor.
It was now Saturday, May 3, and before night, the heavy siege batteries being all in position and everything in readiness, McClellan
resolved, after dedicating the coming Sunday
to sacred rest, to begin on Monday the bombardment of the enemy's works.
At the dawn of the 4th of May (Sunday), the Nineteenth Regiment marched into the redoubt it had built, for picket duty, expecting that all of the guns of the Union
army would soon open on the enemy, but there were no signs of life in the enemy's works which extended for several miles.
A Sabbathlike stillness prevailed inside their lines.
At one or two points something could be seen which looked like cannon; a few shells sent over provoked no reply and as the sun arose and still there was no evidence of life, it was thought that the enemy were either gone or were trying to entice the men over.
The regiment advanced, with skirmishers out, into the open ground and halted.
A ditch, which had been widened, ran in front of and near the rebel fort, crossed by a bridge to the right and another to the left, which were the only means by which the fort could be approached.
, of Company K, exclaimed, ‘I'll bet the works have been evacuated,’ and asked and received permission to cross and enter them to ascertain whether anyone was ‘at home.’
When he had almost reached them, an officer of the Brigade staff started off by the shorter road to the left, entering the works there at the same time that Lieutenant Hume
did on the right.
The latter, finding that no one was in the works, stood on the parapets that for a month had awed McClellan
's Army and motioned for the Brigade to ‘Come on.’
The Nineteenth Massachusetts moved forward at double-quick