War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0313 Chapter XXIII. SIEGE OF YORKTOWN, VA.

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and the bridges being nearly completed, the first parallel and some of the batteries were commenced, and their completion pushed as rapidly as the supply of tool, &c., would permit. From that time to the 27th the loss in my division from the fire of the enemy was very small, and was generally caused by the Sharpshooters.

On the 27th, for reasons known only to the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac, I was appointed director of the siege, and had assigned to me for temporary duty two of his aides, Captains Kirkland and Mason. On that day I visited the whole work and made myself acquainted with everything relating to it, the working parties, the guards, &c., which I had not personally known, and arranged for united action under all circumstances on the whole front and for expediting the completion of the works. For these purpose I issued on that day in manuscript my printed instructions of May 1. To the faithful execution of them by all officers in command, and to the energetic, laborious, and faithful action of the officers in charge of working parties and their assistants, is due in a great measure the punctual arrival of details properly supplied with tools and provisions, and the rapid completion of the labor assigned them.

On the 28th a two-gun battery was silenced by a battery of First New York Artillery, attached to the artillery reserve. This battery was erected by the enemy opposite Battery A, on our left, to annoy our workmen and to aid in the protection of one of the dams of the Warwick, a small work in the front of which had been carried by General Grover on the 26th.

On May I the enemy placed two rifled guns in Hamilton's front, near the burned house, and indications of a sortie were reported by the general of the trenches, Colonel Lansing. The necessary dispositions were made to resist any attack of the enemy, but none was made except on a party making rifle pits in advance of the works on the extreme right. It was repulsed with slight loss by a small force of the Second Maine and Thirteenth New York Volunteers.

From the 1st instant the firing of the enemy had been quite brisk, causing some losses, but on the 3rd the firing increased in rapidity and many of the shots fell in our camps. Suspicions of intended evacuation of Yorktown were roused that night, but all efforts to ascertain the fact were defeated, and it was with great difficulty that the rifle pits on the right were completed.

About 3.30 on the morning of the 4th, upon explosions and fires in the enemy's works being reported to me, I directed the generals of the trenches, General Jameson and Colonel McQuade, Fourteenth New York, at once to push forward a force into the works. Before the order was carried into effect General Jameson informed me that deserters reported the place abandoned. The commands designated to enter the town pushed forward rapidly. The one on the left was fired upon from the Red Fort. Those on the right experienced some losses from shell planted in the ground, which exploded when trod upon. Many of these shell were concealed in the streets and houses of the town, and arranged to explode by treading on the caps or pulling a wire attached to the doors. These attempts to destroy life were discovered in time to prevent many injuries.

As the sun rose the national flag was unfurled to the breeze, conveying to the Army and Navy the glad tidings that the authority of the United States had been extended without a desperate struggle over these formidable defenses and this stronghold of the enemy. Colonel Gove, Twenty-second Massachusetts, and Colonel Black, Sixty-second