took up its tents and began to march again.
The roads were quagmires and constantly grew worse.
The march was frequently interrupted to allow columns to pass toward Williamsburg
, in direct pursuit of the enemy.
No sooner was the command ‘Forward’ given than ‘Halt’ would follow and the men would drop their pieces to the ground in disgust.
It was impossible to sit down because of the mud and water, it was irksome to stand, and as the men scuffed along in the brief periods of marching, they slid first to one side, then to the other in the mud. Wagons broke down, horses stuck in the mud, and, taken altogether the delay was such that in eight hours during the night, the regiment marched only one and three-quarter miles.
So weary were the men from the exposure and the terrible march that some lay down in the mud at every halt, many of which were occasioned by the search for hidden torpedoes.
At 2 A. M. the line finally halted on the sandy beach at Yorktown
and the men were almost immediately asleep.
A number of barrels were found on the beach, and these were made use of as much as possible.
When the men awoke in the morning, however, it was discovered that some of these barrels contained gunpowder and they were immediately rolled into the water, that being considered the best place for them.
The fortifications of Yorktown
were found to be on a grand scale.
The parapets were 20 and 30 feet high, and ditches, 20 feet across, extended for miles.
The water battery mounted a long row of pieces and commanded the York River
at this point, co-operating with the batteries at Gloucester Point
While the regiment was encamped on the beach at Yorktown
, many of the men took occasion to go into the town.
All that was left there was a church and a half dozen tumbled down wooden houses, leaning in all directions and looking as if a first class hurricane had passed that way.
At 3 P. M. the regiment embarked on the transport C. Vanderbilt
and started up the York River
, preceded by the gunboat Marblehead.
They arrived at West Point
at 6 P. M., but did not debark until the following morning, when