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The Siege Of Yorktown

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Cami' Wim r:u ScOTT, ) April 28.1, 1801. $ Dkar Brotiiïii : We werc igüin on oke!;. Wudnesday, April 24 tri, but ihe pots Hint vo oceup'ted flid not inioiint 'o much, and t!.o day ; Q:gbt passed u8 very (juietly. üoousionally rnight be board Uie ln'.id w poi-t of a cHiitioa, und the wlástling of the U:il! is t. made ita quiek 1 siigc tlirtmgh the air. ín the evenmg tiio rebuls gave us u Iresil in the shape of musió. Thé musfio oí' their baod eouodod büauiifully in llio quIio oyouiüg air, Short ly fier (heir inuftio ccased, we hád musio of aoot! er kind, tïie mus:o of iho v. iud. It had been very oool all day, but the rbnng of 'tho ; wind racreased tho-cohf, and t was so sevcrti tliiit ona was glad wlleu mor! ning cainc A uumber of d user Iers Irnm tlie rebels came into ilio lines during tho dav. (Jiiu of theiri feil into thu hands of not Capt. Kidu, the oíd pírate tbat L used to read of,- but the íácrgoant-Maj ut' thé regiment; he was i;i the oíd .Michigan First, and was severely wounded at the butilo of Buli Hun, and by the way ha is something of o boy, as vvell a.s a good soldier, and alwnys f uil of fnn which every wavlho wind blows, or whether it rains ör Bh i nes, Ti;is deserter reporta the workö very atroog. He says that Maqrüüer is in command. A few daya ago the General had his nrmy up in re.iew, wben ho told thoïn that the Yankees ere befo re tbem, tbree hundieil thousand etrong; that when the i'ücmy first made their appearance his (Magruder's) förces were only fifty thousand etrong ; but he bad now received a reinforoenient of tbouöand, making his foroe one Imndred arxl twenty-fivu thousand ; and that hu expected fiity thousand ei his ilion would whip one hundred thousaod of tt;e Funkeea. Tho deserter said Ibat wlmn he left, ten cunera telt with hiin, and Kidd says that when they reached bead-quartors, and the jiii.soner was placed in COQÍinemeut, he met five of thern there, and that tbet were all rejoicfcd that they were fnir'y out of the hands of tho rebels. On Ihe sanio day a Febül doserter made his appearance within the pickot lines of the Pennsylvabïa S3]. Ile said that ho was sou: out tu buteber a " critter," and took the opportonity to desert. He carno to the piokot line on agrun,rsvinging bothjiands to keep tho picket guards from shooting htm. He said that he was a Pennsyivaniaii, that at the breaking out of the war ho was South, that hu was improssod into service, and he was rejoiecd to sce men Irom IiiSown Statö again. He reported tho place so strongly. fortifiod that the eommander of it, Gen. Magrudeiï, says " the devil cannot get into it." So, I suj.pose, that f ivo get posses.sion of tho placo, wo shall be more than satanie mi.jesty, in the estimalion of the General. He also says that thcro were a krge Dumber in thu rebel army, in Yorktown, rho would like to gtt away, whilo others say that they will fïght the d - d Yankees to the dealh boforo they will givo up. All the desertare from Yorktown, and thsro are a great many of them agree that tha place is strongly forii úe.d, and that there is a strong forco there to defond it. This time we were in force, Colonel Stockton. the Lieut. Colonel, Major, and Adjutant were along, in luet we wers ready for a fight, f tho rebels should leave the fort and givo us half a chance; but they didn't come, so we didn't have a fight. There is moro or loss firinf; alonothe lines all tho whilo, which kills or wounds somo on our side. On Tueeday evening a balloon was sent up, but t had hardly asoonded to tho top of tho trees when a shot from a rebel battery went whïstling along; but it missed the object it was sent after. - Our guns were oponed upon tho rebal battery, and a spiritod contost was kept up for some time. A few days ngo Gen. Smith shellod a rebel fortitication opposite his divisioir. After a pirited oontost, the rebqls evacuated tho works, when tho Genera] ordored a regiment forward to tako possession. Jiotween them and the worku was a ravine or rather a swamp - of which there is any number in front of their works - which Ibey had to go Ihrough, When they had fairly got inlo it, they found ihe water beginning to riso, and beforo they had hardly time to look around thein, the water had risen so high that they were ander tho necessity of taking off their cartridgo boxos and throwing thom over their shoulders, to keep them dry. To mako things worse, and to bewilder thom more, the rebels cominonced to open fire upon thom from tho bushes. As soon as tho finng wns heard, the General sent forward another rogiment to support the first, and it soon found itself in the samo lix. Another rogimont was now sent to their relief, when thoy managed to extricato themselvos, with a loss of some three hundred men. The rebels had fixed a trap, and fuirly cftdght their game. Thoy had dainmed up the Btroam, colleoted water, evacuatod their works to draw on our foroes, and vvhon they had them fairly in tho swamp oponed the dam and let the water flow. A fow nights after warde, one of our Generáis managed to. pay off a litllo of this debt, and I think took some ot the cenceit out of the robels. Our mon wero erecting a battery and mounting guns, behind somo trees which hid them I frorn tho rebels ; and as thoy oould not got the rango of it to sbell it, they thought they would mako a =al!y, in tho night, catch our men napping, diivo thom back, and take possession of the u-ons. Our ftenercl grot wind rf tlijs, koiijo vvay, and made Lis ai'ranaon:enu Êo gh-e thema warm reception. IIo tbrcw out a few regijnènts so as to flank the ground that the euemy liad i to o.iiiie over, and had the cannous j loaded and ready fof tnerii in front, and then thcy waited for tlie rebels (o mnke t lic; r oppen ra neo. ïhey carne fslcwly r.nd cñülioiiely, sure ot their . Thü tranend Jet them approach ! until lbo buttons on their eoats could i be seen, wiicn lio gavo the prder, "Fiity' and -imultiineously the infaiuiy and the britlttry pourud foi'th llu-ir tire ntonlhem. This was too in'uch for ■ the rebels, and they turned and hasi tened back to the fort without fh'iog a shot, leaving n largo nnmber oí dad ; and wounded on tho fielt!. At live ó'elóck, Friday ovening, tliis regimeul was o'rderod out. It waa ! formed inlo line and marched to tho i headquartèrs of Gen. Portbr, whero eyery man was lurnished, éither with a [lick or shovel. Tbeji it was marehed across Wornlith's Creok, on o Dé of the eight brnlges which ' this army has built over it, up said ra vine for one and a half miles, to ono of iu numerous bran o-bes, wbioh leada (o a large field in front of the rebel forti tieationp. Here, at 9 o'clock in the evoiiing, our guns were stacked, and we were eet to break ing groimd for a forlification. lloro we labored all nrgbt, and in the mortiingwe had a ditch dug, over thrèë hundred yards long, four feet deep, and threo feet wido, witbin three-quarters of a milo of the rebel fortificalions. TLis ditch is to bo made twelve feet widc, and when done wi'll make a substantial breastwork, and in close range of tho rebel fortifiefttione. This was done without a shot being fired by them. I tliink that they must havo been somewhat surprised in the morning, at seeing tho works that went up around them that night, for this was only only one oí many. This work exten ds from ravine to anotlier, so that it can be etiterëd at either oi;d without the men bcingseen hy the enemy. It was a very_ good uight to commence 8uch a work, as it was very dark, and rained most of tho time. This morning, Suhday, at G o'olock, vo again took up our lino oí marchfor work on intronchmeDte. So you sec that war has no respect for tho Sab balh. Last Sabbath I worki d on the road. This time, our route was part of the way over the samo road, but we Uft Wornlith's Creek lower down tban before, and went up another branch, but into the same open field, which estends for miles up and dawn the York Eiver. At the head of the ravine, the regiment halted for some tinre. Whilo standing here tho enomy opened their batteriep, and sent a few shells living this way, one of wl.ioh burst only threo reda from Gompany A. This was tne first gun-powder of the rebels that we have smelt, but we shall probably have a chance to smell more before this little scrüpo is over. While hete I met Capt. DePüy, of tho Michigan 4th, and also Serge. .nt Jo. Rioiiardson, uf the same regiment. Thoy were out on piek et duty. A f ter a while we again moved on, and entered the inirenehments which we were to work on These intrenchments extend from a ra vino which emptics into Wornlith's Creek, across a field, and iu f uil view of the einemy's batteries, to York liiver; and are perhaps a miie or more in length. They are made by diggir.g a ditch twelve foet wide and four feet deep, and throwing tho dirt o;i tho side of tho ditch towards the enemy. This makes a very strong forti fiootioD. - Gompany A worked within a few rods oí York Eiver. Below us, ia tho river, lav four federal gunboats, whicb would occasionally send a shell whistling along by u.s, and land it in the rebel forlifications. They vrould return the complii.ient, but their balls struck far short ot the boat3. Wo hitd a splcndid view from our position. We could seo tho rebel fórtificatioiie on the other side of the river, at Gloucester. Whilo here some of the boy.s diecovered a boi wbiob had been drifted ou shore. On opening it they discovred and took from it ktiapsacks, haversacks, and. cartridge boxes, which were soon distributed among tho boys as seeession property. A short timo ago our gunboats fired into and sunk a rebel boat as it was crossing the river. I presume this box floated from that boat. We retnrned to camp at 12 o'clock. On Friday afternoon, Mr, Piielps, of Detroit, mado his appearance in camp, as the United States allotment commissioner. Ho addressed tho regiment ezplaiáióg to them the benefit -and intention of tho allotment law. I believe this regiment took the opportunity to allot a considerable aniount of their vvaes to their families and friends at o home. The allotment commences the first of March. It could not tako eifjet bi'foro, for the pay rolla for Janu" ary and Fcbruary have been made out for Rome time. Yesterdy the rebels salüed forth from thcir nterencbraents, with six pieces of light artillery,to makeademonstration upon some men that were throwing up intrenchments. One of the companies of tho ' Excelsior Brigade" crept around through the woods unjil they got near them, when they made a charge, and took the battery and fourteen prisoners. lf you hear anybody grumbling because Gen. McClellan is so long horo without taking this place, teil them for me lo cóme down and tako a look at tho fitrength of tho rebfll works, and the work thut has to bo done boforo their works can be attaeked euocessfullv, and I wül warrant that they wil] grutnble no more. A few nights sgo I iieard an oíd military ofliocr, ono wbö aervod in Mexico, say that " God had dono more to fortify Yorktown than míin had," and I beüove it.


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