War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0402 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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Numbers 56. Report of Colonel Samuel W. Black,

Sixty-second Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations May 3-4.


I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 3rd instant I reported to Brigadier-General Martindale, general of trenches, at a few minutes before 4.30 o'clock; the picket detail being 600 officers and men of the Sixty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Sweitzer, and 400 officers and men of the Fourteenth New York Volunteers, under Major Davies, all from the Second (Morell's) Brigade. The old pickets were relieved on time, Major Davies, with 225 men of the Fourteenth New York Volunteers, occupying for the day the trenches on the left of the Mill road, and Lieutenant-Colonel Sweitzer with the rest of the entire detail, occupying the trenches on the right. At 8 a. m. I reported to Brigadier-General Jameson, who relieved General Martindale. Throughout the day and most of the night the firing from the enemy's works was heavy, continuous, and frequent. At night the pickets were posted well to the front, forming a continuous and connected line. Two companies of the Sixty-second occupied the rifle trenches with a detail of sharpshooters.

About 3 o'clock this morning a large fire was discovered inside of the Yorktown works and frequent explosions of shell and cartridges were heard. At daylight 3 prisoners were taken at the rifle trenches. I immediately had them carried to the general of the trenches at the mill. They stated that the enemy had withdrawn from Yorktown and that little or no force was now inside.

In company with General Jameson, and under his orders, four companies of the Sixty-second and two companies of the Twenty-second Massachusetts Volunteers (Colonel Gove) moved forward to the left of the rebel works. General Jameson and the undersigned ascended the front and entered almost together, when I raised and waved a small Americal flag. The Sixty-second and a small detail of sharpshooters, followed by the Twenty-second Massachusetts Volunteers, ascended the works in good order, and took possession of the fortifications of Yorktown.

In a very few minutes after the first flag was raised Colonel Gove planted a large American flag prominently on the front. I think it right to say that the third person in the works was the sergeant-major of the Sharpshooters.

The last shot fired from the rebel fortifications was a shell from Gloucester Point, thrown about twenty minutes before the occupation of Yorktown. It burst at the main parallel, and within a very few feet from two companies of the Sixty-second, happily, and as it would seem providentially, doing no harm.

The conduct of the officers and men on picket both day and night was every way satisfactory, Lieutenant-Colonel Sweitzer and Major Davies being particularly vigilant and attentive.

Very respectfully,


Colonel Sixty-second Pa. Vols., Commanding Pickets.

Brigadier-General MORELL,

Commanding Second Brigade.