redoubts (Nos. 4 and 5) near Yorktown; the line of the headwaters of Warwick River, and the Warwick River itself. The narrow peninsula formed by the junction of the Warwick and James Rivers was abandoned up to a point about 5 miles from the mouth of the Warwick River, and at this point (called Minor's farm) a series of redoubts, extending from the right bank of this river nearly to Mulberry Island Fort, were constructed to check any assault of the enemy upon our right flank coming up by the way of Land's End. The Warwick River had also obstructions placed in it to prevent the approach of the enemy's gunboats up this river, and we were further protected by our gunboat Teazer, which was placed near the mouth of the Warwick. From the topography of the ground it was absolutely necessary to occupy the whole of this line in the then condition of our forces. Our forces were so few in numbers that it was essential to the safety of the command that the whole should be defended, as the breaking of our lines at any point would necessarily have been attended by the most disastrous results; the center broken or our flanks turned, compelling a precipitate retreat to Yorktown or Mulberry Island, to stand a siege of the enemy's land force, assisted by the whole naval force, with but little prospect of relief or re-enforcements when the enemy occupied the intermediate country. The left bank of the York River was protected by the fortifications at Gloucester Point. The force of infantry was very small; the cavalry consisted of one and a half regiments; the artillery force was very large. Heavy guns were mounted at Gloucester Point, at Yorktown, at Redoubt Numbers 4, and at Mulberry Island.
From deserters, prisoners, and other sources we were convinced that the enemy was advancing in very large force. He had been collecting his troops and munitions of war for several weeks, and it was certain that he would commence his march with a vastly superior force. Our advanced regiments retired before the enemy, according to orders, and took their positions upon and in rear of the Warwick River line, in perfect order. Re-enforcements had been promised us from Richmond, and the determination of the commanding general to defend the position against assault met the cordial approval and co-operation of the Army of the Peninsula. Three roads led up from the Peninsula and crossed the line of our defenses. The first on our right was the Warwick road, that crossed at Lee's Mill; the second crossed at Wynn's Mill, and the third was commanded by the redoubts (Nos. 4 and 5) near Yorktown. The crossing at Lee's Mill was naturally strong, and fortifications had been erected there and at Wynn's Mill. Below Lee's Mill the Warwick River, affected by the tides and invested by swamps on each side, formed a tolerable protection; but the marshes could easily be made passable and the river bridged. Between Lee's and Wynn's Mills and unbroken forest extended on the right bank of the stream to a distance of about 3 miles. Two additional dams were constructed-the one (Dam Numbers 1) nearest to Wynn's Mill and the other Dam Numbers 2. A dam, called the "upper dam," was constructed in the stream above Wynn's Mill. This detailed description of the line of defense seems necessary to explain the positions of the artillery of the Peninsula. The whole force of artillery was placed in position. Captain Young's battery and a portion of Major Roemer's battery occupied Minor's farm. A 12-pounder, of Captain Cosnahan's, and a Parrott piece of Captain Sands', under the command of Lieutenant Ritter, were placed in the extreme right redoubt at Lee's Mill, the battery under the charge of Captain Cosnahan. Captain Sands' three pieces, and Captains Garrett's and Read's batteries, each consisting of three pieces,