Thursday, April 05, 2012
Note: the Regiment continued its march toward Yorktown
While pouring rain softened roads and mired artillery, baggage, and supply wagons in deep mud the infantry took to the woods and fields to advance on Yorktown. By following this alternate route firm ground and swampy morasses intersected like squares on a checkerboard. Few of the Regiment, who were already drenched from the rain, escaped an accidental bath in the water when seemingly firm ground suddenly gave way or feet slipped off a log bridging a swampy area.
In mid-afternoon and during a lull in the rain, the Eighteenth emerged from the woods as a body of skirmishers and were promptly greeted by an artillery shell being hurled in their direction. No harm resulted as the shell landed short and failed to explode. Pushing forward the Regiment halted in fields about a mile from Yorktown's defenses from where they they could hear the shrill strains of Dixie. After nearly eight months of military service it was the first time anyone in the 18th had seen Rebels under arms and it presented a sobering sight for all; play time and pretenses of bravery were now at an end.