Map showing the two forts and locations of the Confederate flotilla and the Union fleet.
–Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman, of the Army of the Potomac on the James Peninsula, near Yorktown, writes in his journal:
If we have another battle here, it will be a desperate one. No stronger position could have been selected by the enemy, and they are well fortified. Jeff. Davis is here, and in the field. Magruder is here, and they are being rapidly reinforced. I do not like this way of marching up to an enemy, and then sitting down quietly and waiting for him to get ready before we attack him. ‘Tis not the Napoleonic style. But there may be good reasons for it which I do not comprehend. I am not a military man, and shall be careful how I condemn the plans of my superiors; but I do not like that style of fighting. Would it not be singular if Yorktown should decide the fate of this revolution, as it did that of "our revolution?"
Siege of Yorktown, Virginia
—Oliver Willcox Norton, a Union soldier with the 83rd Pennsylvania Vol. Inf. Regiment in the Army of the Potomac, writes home from his position outside of the Rebel fortifications at Yorktown, which are blocking McClellan’s advance up the James Peninsula. Norton offers this light-hearted anecdote of picket duty near the siege gun positions: