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Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 14: movements of the Army of the Potomac.--the Monitor and Merrimack. (search)
ation of the remnant of the naval force in Hampton Roads in the reduction of the Confederate water-batteries on the York and James rivers, and Flag-officer Goldsborough had offered to extend such assistance in storming the works at Yorktown and Gloucester, provided the latter position should be first turned by the army. He was reluctant to weaken his force, for the Merrimack was hourly expected, with renewed strength, and the James River was blockaded by Confederate gun-boats on its bosom and Clleged, his preparations for the attack were not completed when they arrived. He afterwards complained that the lack of McDowell's corps to perform the work he had promised to assign to Franklin, namely, the turning of Yorktown by an attack on Gloucester, was the cause of his failure to attack Yorktown, and made rapid and brilliant operations impossible. Another and more restraining reason seems to have been the inability, during that fortnight, to decide whether to attempt to flank his foe or
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 15: the Army of the Potomac on the Virginia Peninsula. (search)
it had so great a dread of the watchful little Monitor that it remained at Norfolk. Already some war-vessels, and a fleet of transports with Franklin's troops, as we have observed, were lying securely in Posquotin River, well up toward Yorktown. These considerations caused immediate action on the resolutions of the council. The sick, hospital stores, ammunition, and camp equipage were speedily sent to Richmond, and on the night of the 3d of May, the Confederate garrisons at Yorktown and Gloucester, and the troops along the line of the Warwick, fled toward Williamsburg. Early the next morning May 4. General McClellan telegraphed to the Secretary of War that he was in possession of the abandoned post, and added: No time shall be lost. I shall push the enemy to the wall. Yorktown presented to the victors evidences of great precipitation in the final departure of the troops, as well as deliberate preparation for a diabolical reception of the Nationals after the flight of the garri