April 5. We left our Camp at Great Bethel this mor-
ning at 6 oclock, taking the direction of York-
town whither we were going to take part in the
siege of that noted village. The country around
Great Bethel had been occupied by the rebels
only the day before we arrived there, and there
was a general skedaddling to get out of the
country and get under the guns of Yorktown.
During today we halted a long time nears some
rebel field works of an extensive character, at
a place called Howard's Creek. Evidences of a
hasty departure were seen everywhere around.
Dinners untouched, Flour in bags & Candles,
Bacon, Beef, Cooking utensils with all the in-
numerable variety of things which contribute
to the Comfort of Man. All were left as in a great hurry.
The evacuation had been so recent that a rebel
soldier came wandering along Enquiring whre
his regiment was, & was not aware that his
friends had left until he found himself a
prisoner. This was our first prisoner & of course
an object of general curiosity--The men crowded
around to get a look at secesh--poor devil
that he was--He looked as if he scarcely knew
the meaning of secession. As to abolitionists, that
hated race, he looked as though he might have
been the slave to a well to do negro. Much less
ever having owned a negro himself.
Our ears to day were first saluted with the
view of war. The thundering of Cannon towards
Yorktown, indicated the progress of a fight,
the nature of which we were in total ignorance.
It appeare tous afterward that it was nothing
more than what we heard during that
Pressing our march, we reached, towards the
middle of the afternoon,some rebel canton-
ments about eight miles from Yorktown. They
were evidently constructed with great care.
Houses built of pine logs, with the necessary
doors & windows, laid out with regular streets
crossing each other at right angles, looking more
like a respectable western town than a Military
camp Quarters were here found for our entire
brigade. All would have been most pleasant
had our trains come up, but the execrable
character of the roads prevented them, so we
made the floors of our Cabins our beds & com-
posed ourselves to comfortable sleep without
so much as a sign of supper. No person on earth
however could prevent us from remembering the
many good suppers we have had, nor from fan-
cying the many good ones we would have in
the future--if we could get them--At any
rate we slept well on the pine brush spread
on the dirt floor of our cabin and arose at
reville to a bright & beautiful Sabbath Morning.