Thursday, November 12, 2009

Latest from Yorktown

BALTIMORE, April 17.

The following is from the special correspondent of the American. There are no indications of the re-appearance of the Merrimac. The French steamer Gazendi is still at Norfolk, awaiting the return of the French Minister from Richmond, where it is presumed he has gone to insure the safety of the tobacco purchased by the French government.

At intervals last night and this morning, heavy cannonading could be heard in the direction of Yorktown.

A party of deserters, who came into our lines report the arrival of Jeff Davis in the rebel camp, and that it was understood he would take command in the approaching battle. They represent the enemy to be in great force, and the work of entrenching to be progressing throughout the Peninsula. Reinforcements were constantly arriving from Norfolk, Fredericksburg and even North Carolina; and the rebel Generals openly declare their intention to make this the great battle of the war, and the strongest conviction is expressed of a triumph over the federal forces and driving them from the Peninsula.

There is almost constant skirmishing going on by the riflemen, and occasionally shot and shell are thrown with great rapidity. There was quite a heavy skirmish this morning, beyond Warwick Courthouse on the James river. The enemy attempted to turn our left flank. The attack was made in quite heavy force, but the enemy were repulsed. Their loss is thought to have been quite heavy. We lost about a dozen killed and wounded.

FT. MONROE, April 17.

To-day has been the warmest of the season thus far.

The Weather and the tide are most favorable for the appearance of the Merrimac, but nothing unusual has been seen in the direction of Sewall’s Point.

At Yorktown firing took place during last night and this morning, without producing much effect on either side. Some six or eight of our men were killed during that time, all but one of whom, it is reported, were in Gen. Sedgwick’s division.

The following dispatch was received to-day at the War Department, from General McClellan:


At about midnight the enemy attacked Smith’s position, and attempted to carry his guns. Smith repulsed them handsomely, and took some prisoners. I have no details, but will forward them as soon as my aids return. The firing was very heavy. – All is now quiet.


The position occupied yesterday by Smith was entrenched last night, so that we have been able to prevent the enemy from working to-day, and have kept his guns silent. The same result at the batteries at Hyatt’s Mills.

Dispatch to the War Department. – Yorktown was shelled by our gunboats, and four barges, but without effect. There has been a great deal of firing from the Yorktown land batteries.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Saturday Morning, April 19, 1862, p. 1

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