The Evacuation of
affectation of military mystery. (I will say
here, as an appropriate opportunity, that I believe
the ignorance as to the enemy�s doings and intentions
� nay as to the topography of the country, � among
the Union generals was extraordinary Heintzel-
man absolutely snuffled out to me, just before
our departure from Old Point, for Yorktown: �We
shall find nobody there, Mr Gunn, nobody there!
they�ll all be gone!� and this was what he hoped
and expected � what Mc Clellan wanted!
How the result stultified these strategical warriors
everybody knows: with but a few exceptions I
have learned utterly to disrespect the whole of them.
They were as full of spites and jealousies as a par-
cel of actors; in the majority of cases actuated
by petty ambitions and vanities, not patriotism.
Only the poor common soldiers showed well; they
were honest. Whatever might be assumed
afterwards by the Commander-in-chief and his
partisans, I had no doubt at the time that the
thing was a surprise and a humiliating one: had
not the battle of Williamsburg come so quick on the
heels of it this would have been more generally ad-
mitted. Indeed, as subsequently appeared, the
enemy had intended to abandon Yorktown on our first
appearance, and would have done so but for our
ridiculous falling to digging and �regularly investing�
the place, when it was determined to reinforce