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On the 26th of April there was a great time in camp. We were there in the rear—in reserve, as it was called. The reorganization and election of officers was the subject. Having enlisted for one year, our time expired on the 21st of that month, but there was little ceremony wasted by the Confederate Government as to our right of being discharged. We were permitted to reorganize. This appears to have been about the only favor extended. We, of course, realized that if we should pack our knapsacks and leave, the war would end then and there. Therefore there was nothing to be done but to hold on and follow the fortunes, or rather the misfortunes, of the Confederacy.

The fears of General Johnston that this line could not be held now became more and more apparent. The enemy brought up his siege train. Over 100 heavy guns and mortars were ready to hurl destruction into our lines. This was more than we could stand, so, after everything had been carefully prepared by General McClellan, General Johnston concluded it best and safest to retire to the capital of the South, then concentrate the Confederate forces, and try to regain the lost ground, which he could not hold with any prospect of success.

On the evening of May 3d the evacuation of the Yorktown lines commenced, leaving the trenches during the early part of the night. We marched about four or five miles toward the rear near an old church, where a halt was made for a few hours, during which time the evacuation of Yorktown was completed. Ammunition and ordnance were blown up, and the guns which could not be removed were spiked. The noise could be heard for miles. Continuing our march, we reached Williamsburg and halted near the asylum on the morning of the 4th. The enemy, on finding out that his front was clear, followed close behind, catching up with our rear guard. It resulted in a heavy skirmish, in which the enemy was driven back with loss. The morning of the 5th opened wet and dreary. Our division (Longstreet's) was to hold the enemy in check while the rest of our army was on its way toward Richmond.

Early in the morning, skirmishing commenced east of Williamsburg. About 10 o'clock orders came for us to fall in, and the brigade commanded by General A. P. Hill, consisting of ours the First, about 195 muskets, the Seventh, Eleventh, and Seventeenth Virginia regiments, turned its face eastward towards the advancing Federal lines.

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