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In Virginia, Union artillery outside Yorktown delivers a preliminary barrage on Confederate defenses

Civil War Battle, iconic image
General McClellan's seige of Yorktown reached a climax with the completion of the painstaking artillery preparations.  Almost two hundred heavy guns, at ranges of 1500 to 2000 yards were ready to begin to reduce the fortifications of the Confederate-held city.  On this day, the first battery opened up on the Yorktown docks in final preparation for the full barrage, scheduled for May 4, 1862.  Before then, however, the Confederate garrison slipped away and left deserted positions for the Union to occupy on May 3, 1862.  (By John Osborne)  
Source Citation: 
Alexander S. Webb, The Peninsular - McClellan's Campaign of 1862 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1881), 66-67.