May 4, 1862: Siege of Yorktown Ends

In the Spring of 1862 all eyes North and South were turned towards a Virginia town made famous in the American Revolution:  Yorktown.  As Major General George B.  McClellan made his way slowly up the Virginia Peninsula towards Richmond, he encountered a small Confederate force of approximately 13,000 men under Major General John B. Magruder, known to his colleagues in the United States Army prior to the War as Prince John for his love of Shakespearean plays.  Although outnumbered almost ten to one by the Army of the Potomac, Magruder pretended as if he had a far large force.  His stratagem worked.   McClellan always assumed that the Confederates opposing him were far greater in numbers than they actually were.  He believed that Magruder had a force of 40,000 men and could call on General Joseph Johnston for vast reinforcements.  To the stunned amazement and joy of Magruder, McClellan did not attack, but on April 5 opened a siege of Yorktown. (more…)

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Published in: on May 4, 2012 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on May 4, 1862: Siege of Yorktown Ends  
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