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Reports of Brig. Army, Chief Engineer Army of the Potomac, of operations during the siege.
Friday, May 2.—The parallel between right and left branches of Wormley’s complete, except about 100 feet of banquette and some trimming of excavation; the whole to be finished to-night or to-morrow. Battery No. 11 finished, except traverse; to be put in after mounting mortars. Batteries Nos. 9 and 12 complete, except magazine and traverse. Every effort will be made to finish these by to-morrow night. Redoubt C: ditch from 9 to 12 feet wide and gorge and ramp excavation nearly completed. They can doubtless, with emplacements for guns, be finished by Sunday night. Road connecting parallel across left- branch ravine to be completed to-night. The one along the shore of right-branch ravine commenced to-day. Parallel between Battery No. 2 and Redoubt A needs slight changes. 3: change complete, except traverse. 13: parapet three-fourths completed; magazine commenced; magazine for reserve is commenced and excavation completed. Captain Stewart reports parties still at work on Battery No. 7 and constructing magazine for Battery No. 8. Three hundred and forty-eight gabions were made yesterday and 215 issued, leaving 1,374 on hand. The south-branch bridge progressing well. Sand-spit bridge will be commenced to-day. Work on lower crib bridge to be resumed to-day. But one platform foundation remained to be laid last night in Battery No. 4. The magazine will probably be finished to-day. The commanding general authorized two 8-inch siege mortars to be sent to General Smith, to be located near Garrow’s Burnt Chimneys, for shelling the works in front of General Smith’s position. Captain Stewart was directed to establish a battery for two 8-inch siege howitzers in the small clearing west of General Sumner’s headquarters, to be fired at 12° 30’ elevation. To clear trees 60 feet high when firing at this elevation the howitzers must be placed 270 feet back from the woods; if 100 feet high, 440 feet back. If fired at 5°, they must be 686 feet in rear of trees 60 feet high and 1,143 feet in rear of trees 100 feet high. The position, according to our own maps, will enfilade the Wynn’s Mill works, from the farther extremity of which it is but about 1,800 yards, and it is but 2,000 yards from the enemy’s works at the one-gun battery.
Saturday, May 3.—Battery No. 3: extension completed. 5: extension for two guns ready for platforms. 13: parapet done, extension for one gun commenced, and magazine ready for earth cover. 14 : revetment completed, magazine ready for  cover, and parapet to be thickened. Battery for Whitworth gun, near No. 14, commenced; boyaux, 2,500 yards, 6 feet wide and four feet deep, completed. 5, has one row of gabions up. Lieutenant McAlester reports that his portion of the parallel will be finished to-night, including the additional banquette decided upon last night. He reports also that no interest whatever in the work could be excited in the officers, and that the men were therefore generally idle. The detail from the Mozart Regiment accomplished very little. 11 is complete. 9 and 12 progressed very slowly from a failure of carpenters and teams to report as expected. Lieutenant McAlester thinks they may possibly be completed to-night. Two-gun (Whitworth) battery located and commenced yesterday; will be ready to-morrow evening. Infantry road up right branch ravine commenced yesterday; will be finished and ready to-day. Redoubt C: the enemy concentrated so heavy a fire upon it that the working party was withdrawn at about 10 a. m. At night work was resumed upon it, but the officers and men from Hooker’s division worked badly. Lieutenant McAlester thinks he will be able to finish it to-night. Captain Stewart reports that during a part of the day a party of 100 men was employed in revetting, building traverse, and repairing Battery No. 7; 200 men were engaged in making obstructions in its vicinity, and 200 men were at work on No. A party of 200 men was engaged yesterday afternoon in forming the parapet of a barbette battery for two 8-inch siege howitzers in peach-orchard clearing; also 100 men cutting timber in its vicinity. General Woodbury reports 255 of his command at work on bridges over Wormley’s Creek; 100 on Battery No. 4; over 300 men on detached service, and the remainder variously employed. Two hundred and forty-two gabions were made yesterday and 485 issued, leaving 1,131 on hand. A large force will be employed in making fascines to-morrow. The road covering of bridges over south branch of Wormley’s Creek is complete. The earth-covering will probably be done by Sunday night. The sand-spit pontoon bridge will, I hope, be done by Sunday night.
Sunday, May 4.—Battery No. 8 is reported as completed; some trees were to be felled to unmask it. A mortar battery near Carrow’s Chimneys was being constructed; this would have been completed tomorrow. The parallel between Batteries Nos. 3 and 5 is completed. 10: one traverse and magazine to finish and embrasures to open. 13: three traverses to build. 14: traverse to build and parapet to thicken. Battery for Whitworth guns: interior slope to be revetted. Battery for Whitworth guns, near Battery No. 3: parapet three-fourths done. 5: change completed. Redoubt D commenced last night. Five hundred and seventy gabions and 83 fascines were on hand at engineer depot. No report has been received from Lieutenant McAlester of the work under his charge. Redoubt C was completed, and only a little finishing was required to be done upon the parallel and batteries between the branches of Wormley’s Creek. The works upon the batteries, trenches, &c., were suspended on the morning of the 4th, the fortress of Yorktown and the whole line of rebel works, including the fort, and batteries at Gloucester, having been evacuated during the preceding night by the enemy.
J. G. BARNARD,
Brigadier-General and Chief Engineer Army of the Potomac General
R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff
Brig. WILLIANS, Assistant Adjutant-General.
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Official Records of the Rebellion: Volume Eleven, Chapter 23, Part 1: Peninsular Campaign: Reports, pp.335-336
web page Rickard, J (4 February 2007)