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Y0RKT0WN EVACUATED. 81
wing of the army by two contrabands. The fugitives bringing the news came to the officer of the picket line, the Lieut. Colonel of the Thirty-third, before daylight, and stated that on the Thursday evening previous the artillery had been removed; on Friday the wagon-trains and a portion of the troops, and that that night "they had all been leaving." They were immediately conveyed to General Hancock's quarters.
Men of straw were posted as sentinels on the ramparts, and "Quaker Guns" had supplanted the formidable artillery, which for weeks had rained down its iron hail on the besiegers.
Not long after, the various Regiments commenced crossing, and by noon the entire Division was over. At the same time other portions of the army were crossing at various points on the right, and General Stoneman, with his cavalry and flying artillery, was started in pursuit of the enemy. General Hooker followed at supporting distance, with his Division. Generals Sumner, Heintzelman and Keys' corps, to which Smith's Division belonged, were also pushed forward.
82 BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBUBG.
FOUGHT MONDAY, MAY 5.
After crossing Warwick Creek, Sunday, May 4th, Smith's Division immediately pushed forward in pursuit of the fleeing enemy. The Thirty-third was ordered to halt near one of the rebel works, and, owing to the forgetfulness of an Aid, did not resume the march again until 5 o'clock P. M. Darkness coming on, and not being able to ascertain the whereabouts of the Division, the Regiment bivouaced for the night seven miles east of Williamsburg.
Several months before, the enemy had constructed a line of defence across the Peninsula, about two miles back of this city, consisting of a very extended entrenchment, called Fort Magruder, which covered the high road from Yorktown, at a narrow and easily defended point, and of five heavy square earthworks on the north side, and two others on the south.
On retreating from Yorktown, the rebels left several thousand men in these works to check our pursuit, and enable the bulk of their army to get across the Chickahominy. Smith's Division came up Sunday evening, as likewise did Hooker's, and other troops of Heintzelman's Corps, which was further to the left.
THB ENEMY'S LEFT FLANK TURNED. 85
As our troops drew near the forts, Monday morning, a heavy artillery fire was poured upon them, followed by musketry. The Thirty-third overtook the Division while it was progressing. Meanwhile General Hooker, who was advancing further to the left, fiercely engaged the enemy, who came out on the plain to meet him, and being pressed by overwhelming numbers, was obliged to fall back to the support of General Peck's Brigade. About eleven o'clock, General Hancock, who was now temporarily commanding the Third Brigade, with his own, was ordered further to the right of the Division, to turn the enemy's position. The Thirty-third, which had been marching since daylight, Fifth Wisconsin, Forty-ninth Pennsylvania, and Sixth and Seventh Maine, were assigned to this duty. After proceeding about two miles to the right, and in view of York Kiver, they changed their course to the left, and crossed King's Creek, on a high dam built by the enemy to "back up" the water, and thereby render the stream unfordable. The overflow or pond thus made, extended nearly a mile, and in front of a portion of their entrenchments. Situated upon the high land at the western extremity of it, was one of the earthworks previously mentioned, strongly built, and with deep broad moats in front. Further back, and towards the York, were two others constructed, on a still higher rise of ground, and surrounded with numerous rifle-pits. They were, however, now all deserted. Just before reaching the dam, the three left Companies of the Thirty-third—B, Capt.