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loucester Point, on the opposite shore, the York River is contracted to less than a mile in width, not aware that torpedoes had been placed in York River to prevent the entrance of the enemy's vessecondition of the Virginia Peninsula between the York and James Rivers when General McClellan embarkead gone by rail to Richmond and thence down the York and James Rivers in vessels towed by tugs—excepr reenforcements to act on the north side of York River. General Magruder had, up to and after trn the position at Yorktown by ascending the York River, if the defensive line there should possibly our getting possession of Yorktown, and the York River would then have been open. Report on the Cohe way to turn our position by ascending the York River. Upon the authority of Swinton, the fairestpracticable, to proceed with the Virginia to York River for the purpose of destroying the enemy's trhe wood to the protection of his gunboats in York River. On the next morning the rear divisions j[8 more...]
the opening of the lower James River, together with the fact that McClellan's army, by changing his base to the head of York River, was in a position to cover the approach to Washington, and thus to remove the objections which had been made to sendin to be near to it on either of its banks. The considerations which induced General McClellan to make his base on the York River had at least partly ceased to exist. From the corps for which he had so persistently applied, he had received the divis with him. The count states: The James River, which had been closed until then by the presence of the Virginia, as York River had been by the cannon of Yorktown, was opened by the destruction of that ship, just as York River had been by the evacYork River had been by the evacuation of the Confederate fortress. But it was only open as far as Drury's Bluff; in order to overcome this last obstacle interposed between Richmond and the Federal gunboats, the support of the land forces was necessary. On the 19th of May Commodo
ose on the right remained in the one they had gained, and some combats occurred there between the opposing forces. The enemy proceeded further to fortify his position on the Chickahominy, covering his communication with his base of supplies on York River. His left was on the south side of the Chickahominy, between White-Oak Swamp and New Bridge, and was covered by a strong entrenchment, with heavy guns, and with abatis in front. His right wing was north of the Chickahominy, extending to Mechae should be uncovered, Longstreet and D. H. Hill were to cross, the former to proceed to the support of A. P. Hill and the latter to that of Jackson. The four commands were directed to sweep down the north side of the Chickahominy toward the York River Railroad—Jackson on the left and in advance; Longstreet nearest the river and in the rear. Huger, McLaws, and Magruder, remaining on the south side of the Chickahominy, were ordered to hold their positions as long as possible against any assau
reached the vicinity of the White House on the 29th. On his approach the enemy destroyed the greater part of the immense stores accumulated at that depot, and retreated toward Fortress Monroe. With one gun and some dismounted men General Stuart drove off a gunboat which lay near the White House, and rescued a large amount of property, including more than ten thousand stand of small arms, partially burned. General Stuart describes his march down the enemy's line of communication with the York River as one in which he was but feebly resisted. He says: We advanced until, coming in view of the White House (a former plantation residence of General George Washington), at a distance of a quarter of a mile, a large gunboat was discovered lying at the landing. . . . I was convinced that a few bold sharpshooters could compel the gunboat to leave. I accordingly ordered down about seventy-five, partly of the First and Fourth Virginia Cavalry, and partly of the Jeff Davis Legion, armed wit