In eastern Virginia, thousands of Confederate troops make a stealthy withdrawal from Yorktown
05/03/1862 to 05/04/1862
Supremely cautious Union General George McClellan slowly built up his forces around Yorktown and planned a full scale heavy artillery attack for May 5, 1862. Confederate commander General Joseph E. Johnston knew that he could not resist such a bombardment and overnight evacuated the remainder of his 57,000 man garrison towards Richmond and Williamsburg. The withdrawal was a complete tactical success and not discovered till late morning. Shocked Union forces took possession of deserted fortifications and a demilitarized town. (By John Osborne)
Frank Moore, ed., The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc. (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1863), V: 6-13.