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Sketch of Longstreet's division — Yorktown and Williamsburg.

By General E. P. Alexander.
At the time of McClellan's arrival at Fortress Monroe the Confederate force at Yorktown under General Magruder scarcely numbered eleven thousand men. Of this force about six thousand formed the garrisons of the intrenched camps at Gloucester Point, Yorktown and Mulberry Island, and the remainder were distributed on the line of the Warwick, a creek which headed within a mile of Yorktown, and flowing across the peninsula, here over twelve miles wide, emptied into the James at Mulberry Island, where batteries had been erected to command the river. The York was defended by a number of batteries at Gloucester Point and Yorktown, but as the majority of the guns in [33] position were old naval thirty-two pounders, the strength of the position against a serious naval attack was more apparent than real. The land front at Yorktown had been partially fortified, but was by no means secure from assault, and standing timber and neighboring ravines offered sheltered approaches to within very short distance of the works. Below Lee's mill, six miles from Yorktown, no roads crossed the Warwick, and the tide ebbed and flowed in its channel. Above this point three dams, each defended by a slight earthwork, inundated the swamp nearly to its source, but the inundations were frequently fordable, though averaging nearly one hundred yards in width.

As soon as it became known that a large Federal force was being collected at Fortress Monroe, General Johnston was sent to examine the position at Yorktown, to decide whether it could be maintained. His report was unfavorable, being based on the dangers of the isolated position of Gloucester Point, and of a well conducted naval attack up the York, but it was nevertheless determined to hold the line as long as possible, as the possession of the Peninsula was considered necessary to the safety of Norfolk.1

On the 4th of April, General McClellan having arrived at Fortress Monroe and taken command in person, put in motion towards Yorktown the force already assembled, consisting of fifty-eight thousand men and one hundred guns, and at 10 A. M. of the 5th this formidable body appeared in front of the Confederate lines.

With the small force at his disposal for manceuvre, General Magruder marched and counter-marched from point to point, and made such a parade, and put on so bold a front that General McClellan, who seems invariably to have seen Confederates double, imagined himself in the presence of a large force, and after some skirmishing and artillery firing he halted and encamped.

The remainder of the Federal army was hurried up as fast as it arrived at Fortress Monroe, and by the 12th of April the force present for duty exceeded one hundred thousand men.

Meanwhile the army of Northern Virginia (as General Johnston's force was now designated, the department of Northern Virginia having [34] been established during the winter,) remained upon the Rapidan until the 6th of April, awaiting the full development of the enemy's plans. On the 6th, the division of General D. H. Hill was dispatched to Yorktown, moving by rail to Richmond and by steamer to Grove wharf, on the James. It was followed in a few days by the divisions of Longstreet and G. W. Smith, a part marching down the Peninsula, as the transportation was insufficient. D. H. Hill's advance reached Grove wharf on the 9th, and by the 20th the greater part of the three divisions had all arrived. The division of General Ewell was left near Gordonsville in observation of the line of the Rapidan, where it remained until the 30th of April, when it joined General Jackson in the Valley.

On the arrival of General Johnston on the Peninsula, the Confederate forces now numbering fifty-three thousand, were positioned as follows: Gloucester Point, Yorktown, and the adjacent redoubts were held by D. H. Hill's division. Longstreet in the centre held the line of the Warwick, embracing the works at Wynn's mill, and dams No. 3 and No. 2. The brigades of Brigadier-Generals Featherston, Colston and Pryor, were now added to his command, which was styled the “Central forces.”

General Magruder's division held the Warwick below Longstreet's right, and embracing dam number one and Lee's mill.

The division of General Smith was held in reserve, portions of it occasionally relieving brigades in the trenches at exposed points.

The actual hostilities between the two armies were limited to sharp-shooting and artillery duelling until the 16th of April, when an attempt was made by General W. F. Smith to get a foot-hold upon the Confederate side of the Warwick, at dam number one. The position was defended by a single available gun (a six-pounder of Stanley's Georgia battery,) a few rifle pits on the bank, and an unfinished breastwork a hundred yards in rear. The inundation in front was over a hundred yards in width, about four feet deep, and overgrown with heavy timber and brushwood. A sharp cannonade was maintained upon it for two hours during the morning, and at 3 o'clock in the afternoon it was renewed by eighteen guns, to which the single six-pounder made a steady reply from its pit. At half-past 3 o'clock a heavy body of infantry was drawn up on the opposite bank, and a musketry fire was also opened, under cover of which four companies of the Third Vermont, afterwards reinforced by eight others, forded the stream and advanced gallantly upon the unfinished breastworks, on which the Fifteenth North Carolina was just then at work. A sharp fight ensued for a few minutes, in [35] which Colonel McKinney, commanding the Fifteenth North Carolina, was killed, and his regiment, after his fall, was driven back in confusion, and the breastworks were possessed by the enemy. Just at this time, however, Colonel G. T. Anderson, with a part of his brigade, consisting of the Seventh Georgia, Colonel Wilson; the Eighth Georgia, Colonel Lamar, and a part of the Sixteenth Georgia, Colonel Bryan; and two companies of the Second Louisiana, under Colonel Norwood, advanced to the support of the North Carolinians, who rallied upon them, and a charge being made by the whole force, the enemy were driven back across the stream, leaving thirty men dead upon the field, and having many more shot down in the water as they retreated. The total loss of the Confederates during the day were seventy-five killed and wounded.

After the repulse of this assault, a heavy musketry fire was maintained by both parties until night, but, as it was mostly at random through the forest, which intervened except just at the dam, little or no harm was done by it on either side.

Had the assault been made with a larger force, a lodgment could probably have been made, but the sending of a single regiment on such an errand was absurd. The offensive, however, was never McClellan's forte, and his record embraces several other instances of a degree of caution, particularly in the use of his infantry, which rendered any decided success impossible.

After the repulse of this feeble effort, his whole energies were devoted to taking Yorktown by siege, and the construction of parallels and batteries for heavy guns was at once commenced. Meanwhile the Confederates devoted themselves to strengthening their position in every way, daily expecting to be attacked. Owing to the proximity of standing timber on the enemy's side of the stream, his sharp shooters were very close, and their fire was very annoying. This, with other circumstances of the situation, combined to render the hardships undergone by the Confederate troops in this siege peculiarly severe. General Magruder speaks of them in his official report as follows:

From the 4th of April till the 3rd of May, this army served almost without relief in the trenches. Many companies of artillery were never relieved during this long period. It rained almost incessantly. The trenches were filled with water. No fires could be allowed. The artillery and infantry of the enemy played upon our men almost continuously, day and night. The army had neither coffee, sugar, nor hard bread, but subsisted on flour and salt meats, and these in reduced quantities, and yet no murmurs were heard. The best drilled regulars the world has ever seen would have mutinied under a continuous service [36] of twenty-nine days in the trenches, exposed every moment to musketry and shells, in water to their knees, without fire, sugar or coffee, without stimulants, and with an inadequate supply of cooked flour and salt meats. I speak this in honor of those brave men whose patriotism made them indifferent to suffering, to disease, to danger and to death.

These statements are not exaggerated in a single word. The trenches, which were principally in the flat and swampy land bordering the Warwick, filled with water as fast as opened, and could not be drained. Yet the continual firing compelled the men to remain in them, and at points where they were visible to the enemy a hand or a head could not be exposed for a moment without receiving a ball from the telescopic target rifles with which many of their sharp-shooters were armed, and which could be relied on to hit a button at two hundred and fifty yards. The trenches were, moreover, so hastily constructed, that they barely afforded room for the line of battle to crouch in, and in many places egress to the rear being impossible from the severity and accuracy of the sharp-shooters' fire, and locomotion to the right and left being extremely difficult, though the crowds huddled together in the water they soon became offensive beyond description. Fires were strictly prohibited by day and night, the greatest, and what it made it harder to bear, perhaps an entirely unnecessary hardship, under the circumstances. The scanty rations, generally miserably cooked at the camps, were brought into the trenches at night and distributed. False alarms at night were of common occurrence, and would often result in tremendous vollies of musketry, continued on each side for several minutes, and followed by random shelling.

The sick list increased by many thousands, and cases occurred where men actually died in the mud and water of the trenches before they could be taken out to the hospitals.

And not only was there no murmur or complaint, but in the midst of all this the terms of enlistment of a large part of the army expired, and they at once reenlisted for “three years or the war.” It might appear that this reenlistment was not voluntary, being performed under the Conscript Act of April 16th, 1862; but this very act was a favorite scheme in the army, and the army influence had no little weight in securing the passage of the bill.

A few Kentucky troops, in the division of General G. W. Smith, alone opposed their own conscription on the ground that Kentucky was not one of the Confederate States, and they were, therefore, not citizens; but their opposition was principally based on a desire to transfer themselves [37] to the army in Tennessee, where many troops from Kentucky were serving. Their claim of exemption was not allowed, but they were transferred to the West, as they desired.

By the law of Congress, those regiments who anticipated conscription by re-enlisting, were entitled to reorganize and elect their own officers, and this reorganization and the elections were very generally made during the siege of Yorktown.

Very great changes of officers, particularly of Captains and Lieutenants, resulted from these elections, and while many excellent officers were promoted, many others were entirely thrown out, and the whole effect was very prejudicial to the discipline of the army. A few regiments were entirely dissolved, the men either joining other old organiizations or combining to form new ones.

For some time after the commencement of the siege the designs of the enemy were not apparent, as his principal batteries against Yorktown were kept silent and concealed, and only a distant gunboat threw an occasional heavy shell at the surrounding camps. The sharp-shooters and the field artillery, however, on both sides, were more implacable than ever afterwards, except in the neighborhood of the mine at Petersburg in 1864, and a single man was scarcely able to show himself at any distance, without having some missile sent after him. Meanwhile the Confederate line was much strengthened and improved, as well as shortened, by being bent back from the Warwick at Lee's mill, and resting its right flank on Skiff creek, a large and deep tributary of the James, an elbow of which here approached within a mile of the Warwick. The intrenched camp at Mulberry Island was left as an independent outwork, being difficult to attack by land. The enemy used his balloons constantly to overlook the Confederate positions, and seemed to command a view of everything that was done, but, strange to say, the information from this source seems to be the most unreliable of all that misled the Federal commander as to his adversary's numbers and movements. General Johnston was much more accurately informed, although the character of the lines was very unfavorable for secret service.2

The dangers of the flank on York river, and perhaps some apprehensions of the effect upon his earthworks of the enemy's one hundred [38] and two hundred pounder rifles and thirteen inch mortars, decided General Johnston not to undergo the risks of a siege in which the weight of metal would be so vastly against him.3

Accordingly, on the night of Saturday, the 3rd of May, two days before the day appointed by McClellen for opening his batteries, the Army of Northern Virginia was quietly withdrawn from its intrenchments and put in motion up the Peninsula, whither for several days its impedimenta had been preceding it. All valuable stores were successfully removed, except the armament and ammunition of the Yorktown batteries, which was necessarily reserved to the last moment for emergencies. A few hours before the evacuation commenced, however, General D. H. Hill opened a bombardment of the enemy's lines which somewhat reduced the ammunition on hand, and also served to prevent any suspicion of his departure. About eighty guns were abandoned in all, including those at Gloucester Point, but their real value was very little, being mostly old ship guns brought from the navy yard at Norfolk, and ranging from thirty-two pounders to eight-inch columbiads — too heavy for land defence and too light for effective water batteries. About seventy-five rounds of ammunition were left for each piece.

About midnight, the infantry having all taken the road, and the rear guard of cavalry being in position, the firing ceased, the guns were spiked and the artillerists were also withdrawn.

The enemy did not discover the retreat until sunrise on the 4th, when they advanced with some caution to investigate the unusal quiet of the Confederate lines. A number of torpedoes had been planted in various places about the deserted lines by General Raines, and one of them was exploded about 3 o'clock in the morning by some cavalry stragglers from the Confederate rear-guard, who entered the town, some of them being wounded by the explosion. Within a short while after the entrance of the enemy several other explosions occurred, causing in all nearly thirty casualties. Other torpedoes were planted by General Raines at points along the route of the retreat, after the [39] rear-guard had passed, and current reports afterwards affirmed that one or two exploded among the enemy's cavalry and, and were the cause of great circumspection in their pursuit. Much indignation was expressed by the enemy at this novel mode of warfare, and General McClellan had Confederate prisoners detailed to open the magazines at Yorktown, which it was suspected were arranged with infernal machines.4

The terrible condition of the roads rendered the night-march very slow and laborious, and it was 3 o'clock P. M., on the 4th, when the rear of the infantry reached Williamsburg, twelve miles distant.

Meanwhile McClellan had organized a vigorous pursuit, and one which, had it not failed at the fighting point, would have put the Confederate army in a very critical condition.

The divisions of Franklin, Sedgwick, Porter and Richardson, were sent in steamers up the York to the vicinity of West Point, to cut off Johnston's retreat. The divisions of Hooker, Smith, Kearney, Couch and Casey, preceded by a strong force of cavalry and horse-artillery, marched on Williamsburg in pursuit.

The movements of the Federal cavalry were so well conducted, and rapid, that the principal body of the Confederate cavalry under General Stuart was cut off, and with difficulty made its escape by a circuitous by-way, while the remainder was driven in upon the Confederate column just as its rear was filing into the streets of Williamsburg. Fort Magruder, and the adjoining Confederate entrenchments were for awhile entirely within the enemy's power; but some delay was made to reconnoitre the position and to open a battery, and this delay enabled Kershaw's and Semmes's brigades, of McLaws's division and Macon's battery, to regain the works by a long double-quick through the mud. A little long-range firing then ensued in reply to the Yankee artillery and carbines, until the arrival of General Stuart with the rest of the Confederate cavalry. On this General Hampton with his brigade [40] made a charge upon the enemy's position, using the sabre, and capturing one of his guns and some caissons, and drove him back upon Smith's division of infantry, which had begun to arrive in his rear.

Smith's division was, immediately on its arrival, deployed for an attack, but on moving forward through the dense wood behind which it formed, it was thrown into confusion, and night coming on, only a little skirmishing ensued.

About sundown General Longstreet was ordered to relieve the troops in position with one of his brigades. As his brigades were all small, two were sent, those of Anderson and Prior, by which the lines were occupied during the night with Macon's battery and two sections under Captains Garnett and McCarthy.

On the morning of the 5th the bulk of the Confederate army, with its trains, was pushed forward as fast as possible through a severe rain storm, which converted the roads into quick sands and quagmires, probbably the worst that the war produced. Longstreet's division, between 10,000 and 11,000 strong, was left as a rear guard. During the night the division of General Hooker, 9,000 strong, had arrived on the field, opposite the Confederate right, and as soon after daylight as his dispositions could be made, General Hooker commenced a vigorous attack.

The Confederate line was drawn up between Fort Magruder, a considerable enclosed bastioned earthwork of perhaps six hundred yards development of parapet and some small redans, which were part of a chain of such works, twelve in number, besides Fort Magruder and stretching entirely across the Peninsula, on a line about six miles long. The country in front of the Confederate position was open for about seven hundred yards, and the edge of the forest was also levelled, so as to give a range of twelve hundred yards to the guns in Fort Magruder. Anderson's brigade occupied this fort and the vicinity; Pryor's brigade being on its right. The remainder of Longstreet's division was in bivouac beyond Williamsburg; General Longstreet simply standing on the defensive to cover the march of the army.

At half-past 7 o'clock General Hooker began operations by sending forward a battery (Webbers) to take position within seven hundred yards of Fort Magruder, and open upon it, while Grover's brigade, deployed as skirmishers, was directed to push through the felled timber to his front, and right, and, taking position near the battery, to silence the guns in Fort Magruder, and to open communication with Smith's division and the Yorktown road, on which Couch's, Kearney's and Casey's divisions were advancing. The advance of Webber's battery was met by so sharp a fire from Macon's four gun battery in Fort [41] Magruder, and McCarthy's section, from a redoubt on the right, that, when at length the guns were unlimbered in the assigned positions, the cannoneers had been driven off, and their pieces stood deserted. A second battery, (Bramhall's) was immediately ordered forward, with the officers and men of a third to take charge of Webber's guns, and with the assistance of a heavy fire from the sharp-shooters the two batteries were at length gotten to work. An attempt was made to reestablish the Confederate picket line, driven in by this advance, but it proved unsuccessful, and the action became for a while, an interchange of musketry and artillery at several hundred yards range, in which the enemy had a decided advantage with his rifled muskets and cannon. over the Confederate smooth-bore muskets and six pounders. The co-operation which General Hooker expected from Smith's division, and the other troops coming up upon the Yorktown road, (his own position being on the Lee's mill road, which united with it behind the line which his skirmishers now held), was not rendered, and his efforts were therefore confined to holding his position, and keeping Longstreet from moving. Meanwhile, Longstreet, appreciating the situation, moved forward Wilcox's and A. P. Hill's brigades, with which he extended his right flank, to envelop Hooker's left and relieve his front. These brigades fell upon Hooker's left flank, composed of Patterson's and a part of Taylor's brigades, and after a sharp fight drove them, with heavy loss, out of a wood and across a considerable piece of ground, on which the trees had been felled but not lopped of their branches. Continuing to advance into this entanglement, the Confederate's were checked by a heavy fire from artillery and the remainder of Patterson's brigade with a portion of Grover's which Hooker withdrew from in front of Fort Magruder. Unable to see their enemy, the line was halted and the fire returned through the branches of the trees, and again for some hours the battle became a fusilade, but at sufficiently close quarters to cause many casualties, although the combatants were invisible to each other.

At this stage of the affair, the battle having assumed considerable proportions, and the slow progress of the retreating trains through the rain and mud making it evident that the ground must be held all day, while fresh supplies of ammunition could not be easily brought back, General Longstreet called for the division of General D. H. Hill, which was still within five miles of Williamsburg, and which was at once turned back. General Johnston also returned to the field with it, but did not assume the command. Pending the arrival of these troops, the remaining brigades of Longstreet's division, Pickett's and Colston's, were brought upon the field, and the latter being held in reserve, General [42] R. H. Anderson (who in person had supervised all the movements of the morning), was ordered to renew the charge upon the enemy's position. Accordingly, about 1 P. M. the attack upon the enemy's left was recommenced by General Anderson, with Wilcox's and Pickett's brigades, and the First Virginia regiment of A. P. Hill's brigade. (The remainder of A. P. Hill's brigade had entirely expended its ammunition and was held in reserve, close behind the line), supported by Dearing's battery and a section of McCarthy's. The fighting which ensued was severe and prolonged, but resulted in a considerable advance of the Confederate line, the capture of a Federal battery (which, however, could not be brought off on account of the mud and for lack of horses), and the silencing of every gun but one upon that part of the field.5

While matters were progressing thus upon the right, R. H. Anderson's brigade under Colonel Jenkins, with a portion of Pryor's, supported by Stribling's battery and Pelham's horse-artillery, and the fire of Fort Magruder, made an attack upon the enemy's position in front of the fort, and drove him down the road in great confusion, capturing and securing five three-inch rifled guns of Webber's battery.

General Stuart, thinking the enemy routed, moved the cavalry forward in pursuit, but was quickly checked by meeting Peck's brigade of Couch's division, which arrived, and was thrown forward at this time, and afterwards supported by Devon's brigade of the same division. These brigades drove back the pursuit, and in the course of the afternoon made some attempts to capture Pelham's and Stribling's batteries, at one time charging to within a hundred and fifty yards of them. They were, however, driven back into the woods, and the fighting on this portion of the line became a duel, which gradually died out as night came on.

About 3 o'clock the division of General D. H. Hill arrived upon the field, and the second Florida regiment (under Colonel G. V. Ward, who was killed as he led his regiment in,) and a Mississippi battalion from this division were sent with Colston's brigade to relieve the right wing under Anderson, which had now exhausted its ammunition. It happened at this same time that Hooker's division was relieved by the arrival of Kearney, who at once threw forward his three brigades (Jameson's, Birney's and Berry's,) and a fierce fight ensued between these fresh troops. Kearney made several attempts to dislodge his opponent, and by dint of superior numbers had at length regained a [43] portion of Hooker's lost ground, when night put an end to the conflict.

On the left of Fort Magruder there were no operations until late in the afternoon, when an affair took place, which might have proved very serious had the Federal Commander, General Sumner, been aggressive or appreciated that he possessed great superiority in numbers. About noon General Sumner had ordered General Hancock, with five regiments and a battery6 from his own, and Davidson's brigades of Smith's division, to make a wide detour towards the York river, and take a position upon the Confederate flank. Crossing Cub Dam Creek, General Hancock came upon the line of redans before mentioned, as extending across the Peninsula, and finding the two nearest the York unoccupied, he took possession of them and of a strong natural position on a commanding ridge between them, and having sent for reinforcements opened with his battery upon the two redans between him and Fort Magruder, occupied by a part of R. H. Anderson's brigade. About this time, however, General D. H. Hill's division having arrived, General Longstreet dispatched a portion of it toward his left, and General Early, discovering Hancock's position, got permission to take his brigade, and attempt to drive him off.

General D. H. Hill, being directed to accompany the movement, took charge of the right wing of Early's brigade, composed of the Fifth and the Twenty-Third North Carolina regiments, while General Early in person led the left wing, the Twenty-Fourth and Thirty-Eighth Virginia. Not understanding the topography and guided only by the sound of the enemy's guns, the brigade moved into a wood traversed by a swamp, and so overgrown with brushwood, that in passing through it the regiments were entirely separated from each other. General Early, with the Twenty-Fourth Virginia (Colonel Terry) was the first to emerge from this wood, which he did upon a large open field, across which, half a mile away, was Hancock's position. On the right was one of the redans occupied by Anderson's brigade. On the left another wood, occupied by Hancock's skirmishers, extended towards the Federal position. The skirmishers and battery immediately opened fire upon the Twenty-Fourth Virginia, which returned the fire, and led by General Early in person, charged with a yell across the open field at the battery. The Thirty-Eighth Virginia, on emerging into the field at another point, charged upon the wood held by the enemy's skirmishers, where it became sharply engaged, suffering also considerably from his [44] artillery fire. The Fifth North Carolina (Colonel McRae) on clearing the wood with General Hill, was, at its Colonel's request, sent in support of the Twenty-Fourth Virginia, while the Twenty-Third North Carolina was brought into the wood, in front, to the support of the Thirty-Eighth Virginia.

The Sixth South Carolina, of Anderson's brigade, from the redan, on the right, came forward at this time to join in the attack, and being joined by the Thirty Eighth Virginia, from the woods on the left, these two regiments were led by General Hill to the support of the Fifth North Carolina and twenty-Fourth Virginia. These regiments, however, had advanced so far that no support could be rendered, and their gallant charge met with bloody repulse. Moving slowly through the mire and rain, in the face of a murderous fire, which killed or disabled General Early and half of their field officers, the shattered lines traversed the half mile, and mounted the ridge behind which General Hancock had formed a reserve line of sixteen hundred men. When the decimated ranks of the Confederates were within thirty paces, this line suddenly arose and fired and charged. A few of the Confederates were killed with the beyonet, some were captured and the remainder driven back. Seeing the result of the charge, General Hill moved his two supporting regiments into the wood, under cover, and after collecting the wounded as far as practicable, withdrew his brigade.

Night now put an end to the conflict on all parts of the field. The total loss in Longstreet's division was one thousand six hundred and eleven. In D. H. Hill's division it amounted to about five hundred. The Federal loss was two thousand two hundred and twenty eight.7

Immediately after dark Longstreet began the withdrawal of his division, leaving D. H. Hill as rear-guard. The rain still fell, the night was cold, and the condition of the roads was such, that it really seemed impossible for man or horse to move over them. The sufferings of that night will probably never be forgotten, either by the worn out brigades, who, after the long day's fight, waded and stumbled all night in the mud, or by those who, without fires, crouched along the lines until near daylight, and then set forth again on their march, or by the [45] wounded, who lay upon the field until found by the enemy the next day, as unfortunately many did.

No pursuit was attempted by the enemy, beyond sending a small force of cavalry, who followed the line of retreat for a few miles, picking up broken down stragglers. It was with difficulty that the rear-guard could drive before it hundreds of such men, so perfectly worn out as to be reckless of all consequences.

Many wagons and ambulances were abandoned in the road, and with them two mountain howitzers and three iron twelve-pounders, which had been sent to Williamsburg from Richmond just before the retreat, and were unprovided with horses.

As General Johnston expected to be attacked by the divisions which McClellan had thrown ahead of him at Eltham's Landing near West Point, the march was hurried as much as possible, and on the 7th the whole army was concentrated at Barhamsville. Franklin's division and one brigade of Sedgwick's having landed during the morning, General Franklin sent out Newton's brigade as a feeler for the Confederate position. Newton had advanced a little over a mile, when, on entering a body of woods, his skirmishers came upon Hood's brigade of Whiting's division, which formed the Confederate advanced guard. Hood immediately attacked Newton with great vigor, and drove him back under cover of the fire of the gunboats, and of a number of batteries which were brought into action near the landing.8

Newton's loss was 49 killed, 104 wounded and 41 missing. Hood's loss is only reported as “slight.” Franklin remained quiet the rest of the day, during which the Confederates passed by his front with all their trains and troops, leaving only Whiting's and Hood's brigades as a rear guard, which followed during the night.

1 The estimate formed by the enemy of the strength of the Peninsula line was very much at variance with the true state of the case. Gen. McClellan says in his report that to have attacked Yorktown by land would have been “simple folly,” and that as flag officer Goldsborough, of the Navy, reported it impossible to gather sufficient naval force to attempt it by water, and also impossible to advance up the James, on acount of the Merrimac, the only alternative left him was to take Yorktown by siege.

2 A very daring and successful scouting expedition was made by Lieutenant Causey, C. S. A., who was put ashore by a boat at Sewell's Point, on a rainy night, and remained a week within the enemy's lines. He then got possession of a skiff and returned on another favorable night, bringing very accurate returns of the enemy's force and full information of his siege operations.

3 It has been claimed that the sieges of Vicksburg, Port Hudson and Petersburg have demonstrated that the lines of Yorktown could have been held, in spite of the powerful array of artillery which was prepared against them, and that, therefore, Johnston's retreat was unnecessary. There is no doubt that they could have been held against all front attacks for a long time, but the enemy had other armies in the field, operating against Richmond, and it would certainly have been bad policy to have left the main body of the Confederate army in such a cul de sac, and where the enemy's navy could be brought to bear against its flanks with such threatening results.

4 The use of the torpedo was an old hobby with General Raines. During the Seminole war he used them against the Indians with variable success. On one occasion, near Fort King, Florida, he left a shell in the woods, covered by a blanket which blew up the unsuspecting Red men who found the blanket. A few days afterwards another blanket and shell was dropped in the woods, and soon afterwards the shell was heard to explode. Sallying out with a party of sixteen men to see the success of the trap, Captain Raines found that the blanket had been pulled by a long string, and no harm done. When about to return to the fort his party was attacked by nearly a hundred Indians and with difficulty made good its retreat, losing seven killed and wounded, Captain Raines among the latter.

5 In this fighting, which lasted several hours, there was an unusual amount of volley-firing by the Federal infantry. The Confederates, as usual, fired only by file.

6 The Sixth and Seventh Maine, Fifth Wisconsin, Thirty-third New York, and Forty-ninth Pennsylvania regiments, and Coner's New York battery of six guns.

7 The losses of each brigade of Longstreet's division are not on record. Of the Federal losses four hundred and fifty-six were killed, one thousand four hundred wounded, and three hundred and seventy-two missing. Of these Hookers division bore the greater share, his report giving three hundred and thirty-eight killed, nine hundred and two wounded, three hundred and thirty-five missing. Hancock's loss in his affair with Early is stated by McClellan at only thirty-one, but perhaps more correctly by Swinton at one hundred and twenty-nine.

8 A Federal General remarked at the time: “But for the artillery this would have been another Ball's Bluff.” Rebellion Record, vol. 5, page 32.

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