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[378] post, and added: “No time shall be lost. I shall push the enemy to the wall.” 1

At that hour a vigorous pursuit of the fugitives had begun by the cavalry and horse-artillery under General Stoneman, followed along the Yorktown road by the divisions of Generals Joseph Hooker and Philip Kearney, and on the Winn's Mill road, which joins the former within two miles of Williamsburg, by the divisions of Generals W. F. Smith, Darius N. Couch, and Silas Casey. Those of Generals Israel B. Richardson, John Sedgwick, and Fitz-John Porter, were moved to the vicinity of Yorktown, to be ready to go forward as a supporting force, if required, or to follow Franklin's division, which was to be sent up the York River to West Point, to co-operate with the pursuing force on the flank of the fugitives, and to seize that terminus of the Richmond and York River railway. General Heintzelman was at first charged with the direction of the pursuit, but the General-in-Chief changed his mind, and directed General Edwin V. Sumner, his second in command, to go forward and conduct the operations of the pursuers. McClellan remained at Yorktown, to make arrangements for the dispatch of Franklin up the York.

The Confederates had, some months before, constructed a line of strong works, thirteen in number, across the gently rolling plateau on which Williamsburg stands. These were two miles in front of that city at the narrowest part of the Peninsula the right resting on a deep ravine near the James River, and the left on Queen's Creek, near the York River. The principal work was Fort

Edwin V. Sumner.

Magruder, close by the junction of the Yorktown and Winn's Mill roads. It was an earth-work with bastion front, its crest measuring nearly half a mile, surrounded by a wet ditch, and heavily armed. The others were redoubts, similar to those cast up around Washington City. At these works the retreating Confederates left a strong rear-guard to check the pursuers, while the main body should have time to place the Chickahominy River between it and the advancing Nationals.

1 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 garrison. The Confederates left most of their heavy guns behind them, all of which were spiked. They also left their tents standing; and near wells and springs, magazines; in the telegraph office, in carpet bags and barrels of flour, and on grassy places, where soldiers might go for repose, they left buried torpedoes, so constructed and planted under bits of board, at the pressure of the foot of man or beast would explode them. By these infernal machines several men were killed, and others were fearfully wounded. Mr. Lathrop, Heintzelman's telegraph operator, had his foot blown off above the ankle. “The rebels,” wrote General McClellan, “have been guilty of the most murderous and barbarous conduct in planting torpedoes here. I shall make the prisoners remove them at their peril.” By his order some Confederate officers, who were prisoners, were compelled to search for and exhume them. They knew where they were planted,


and it was a fitting work for such men to perform.

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