Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Army At Yorktown

The army of the Potomac is before Yorktown; and we have had for the past ten days the same happy assurances that we had for the eight months that it lay around Washington – only now it is, “All quiet before Yorktown!” We have all the old bugaboo stories that we used to hear about the “stupendous fortifications” of the rebels; only now the fortifications, “masked batteries,” and God only knows what other diabolical rebel contrivances are all at Yorktown. The “immense army” of the rebels, numbering something less than the host of Xerxes, is no longer at Manassas. Neither (need we say?) is Gen. McClellan; and the “impassible roads,” and the “balloon ascensions,” and all the claptrap and humbug with which we were amused for two-thirds of a year in front of Manassas – all are at Yorktown! When the leaves were on the trees we waited for them to fall, then for them to come out, and now probably to fall again! In summer we waited for autumn; in autumn for winter; in winter for spring; and now we presume, there is some “strategic” purpose in waiting for summer. We hope soon to hear of a “grand review” on the peninsula. It has been some days since the army and nation has been exhilarated by a spectacle of the kind. Still as “all is quiet before Yorktown,” and the expense of the late Army of the Potomac is but a little over a million a day, we probably ought not to complain!

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 26, 1862, p. 2

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