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el march west-ward, and try to head off the escaping army. And thus ended the eventful Sunday. The general was up at daylight the next morning, and the first report brought in was that Parke had gone through the lines at 4 A. M., capturing a few skirmishers, and that the city had surrendered at 4:28 to Colonel Ralph Ely. A second communication surrendering the place was sent in to Wright. The evacuation had begun about 10 the night before, and was completed before 3 on the morning of the 3d. Between 5 and 6 A. M. the general had a conference with Meade, and orders were given to push westward with all haste. About 9 A. M. the general rode into Petersburg. Many of the citizens, panic-stricken, had escaped with the army. Most of the whites who remained staid indoors, a few groups of negroes gave cheers, but the scene generally was one of complete desertion. Grant rode along quietly with his staff until he came to a comfortable-looking brick house, with a yard in front, situated
at times to an ambulance, but his loyal spirit never flagged, and his orders breathed the true spirit of the soldier. That night General Grant camped at Wilson's Station, on the South Side railroad, twenty-seven miles west of Petersburg. The next morning he sent a dispatch to Sherman in North Carolina, giving him an account of the situation and instructions as to his future movements, and winding up with the famous words, Rebel armies are now the only strategic points to strike at. On the 5th he marched again with Ord's column, and at noon reached Nottoway Court House, about ten miles east of Burkeville, where he halted for a couple of hours. A. young staff-officer here rode up to General Ord, in a state of considerable excitement, and said to him: Is that a way-station? This grim old soldier, who was always jocular, replied with great deliberation: This is Nott-o-way Station. The staff collected around General Grant on the front porch of the old town tavern, and while we were
t sent a message to Ord to watch the roads running south from Burkeville and Farmville, and then rode over to Meade's camp near by. Meade was still suffering from illness. His views differed somewhat from General Grant's regarding the movements of the Army of the Potomac for the next day, and the latter changed the dispositions that were being made so as to have the army unite with Sheridan's troops in swinging round toward the south, and heading off Lee in that direction. The next day, the 6th, proved a decided field-day in the pursuit. It was found in the morning that Lee had retreated during the night from Amelia Court House, and from the direction he had taken, and the information received that he had ordered rations to meet him at Farmville, it was seen that he had abandoned all hope of reaching Burkeville and was probably heading for Lynchburg. Ord was to try to burn the High Bridge and push on to Farmville. Sheridan's cavalry was to work around on Lee's left flank, and the
ll. Most of the men were killed or wounded, and the rest finally surrendered. Their heroic act had delayed Lee's advance long enough to be of material service in aiding his pursuers to capture a large part of his wagon trains. The next day, the 7th, Lee crossed the Appomattox at High Bridge and fired the bridge after his passage, but Humphreys arrived in time to extinguish the fire before it had made much progress, and followed Lee to the north side of the river. General Grant started from Burkeville early tile next morning, the 7th, and took the direct road to Farmville. The columns were crowding the roads, and the men, aroused to still greater efforts by the inspiring news of the day before, were sweeping along, despite the rain that fell, like trained The capture of Ewell's Corps, April 6, 1865. from a sketch made at the time. In his official report General Ewell gives the following account of the battle of Sailor's Creek and the capture of his corps: On crossing
on his right, and Griffin in rear as a reserve. The corps was to wheel to the left, and make its attack upon the angle, and then, moving westward, sweep down in rear of the enemy's intrenched line. The cavalry, principally dismounted, was to deploy in front of the enemy's line and engage his attention, and, as soon as it heard the firing of our infantry, to make a vigorous assault upon his works. The Fifth Corps had borne the brunt of the fighting ever since the army had moved out on the 29th, and the gallant men who composed it, and had performed a conspicuous part in nearly every battle in which the Army of the Potomac had been engaged, seemed eager once more to cross bayonets with their old antagonists. But the movement was slow, the required formation seemed to drag, and Sheridan, chafing with impatience and consumed with anxiety, became as restive as a racer when he nears the score and is struggling to make the start. He made every possible appeal for promptness, he dismoun
you will occupy. Could not your cavalry go back by the way of Stony Creek depot and destroy or capture the store of supplies there? --U. S. Grant Lieutenant-General. editors. While standing in front of the general's tent on the morning of the 30th, discussing the situation with several others on the staff, I saw General Sheridan turning in from the Vaughan road with a staff-officer and an escort of about a dozen cavalry-men, and coming toward our headquarters camp. He was riding his white een as prompt as Grant to recognize that Five Forks was a strategic point of great importance, and, to protect his right, had sent Pickett there with a large force of infantry and nearly all the cavalry. The rain continued during the night of the 30th, and on the morning of the 31st the weather was cloudy and dismal. General Grant had expected that Warren would be attacked that morning, and had warned him to be on the alert. Warren advanced his corps to ascertain with what force the enemy h
ent, General Ingalls came out, and Grant and Sheridan fully discussed the situation. In spite of the opposition which had arisen in some quarters to continuing offensive operations, owing to the state of the weather and the deplorable condition of the roads, General Grant decided to press the movement against the enemy with all vigor. After his twenty-minutes talk with Grant, Sheridan mounted his horse, and, waving us a good-bye with his hand, rode off to Dinwiddie. The next morning, the 31st, he reported that the enemy had been hard at work intrenching at Five Forks and to a point about a mile west of there. Lee had been as prompt as Grant to recognize that Five Forks was a strategic point of great importance, and, to protect his right, had sent Pickett there with a large force of infantry and nearly all the cavalry. The rain continued during the night of the 30th, and on the morning of the 31st the weather was cloudy and dismal. General Grant had expected that Warren would
nxious man in the country to hear the news from us, his heart is so wrapped up in our success, but I think we can send him some good news in a day or two. I never knew the general to be more sanguine of victory than in starting out on this campaign. When we reached the end of the railroad we mounted our horses, which had been carried on the same train, started down the Vaughan road, and went into camp for the night in a field just south of that road, close to Gravelly Run. That night (March 29th) the army was disposed in the following order from right to left: Weitzel in front of Richmond, with a portion of the Army of the James, Parke and Wright holding our works in front of Petersburg, Ord extending to the intersection of Hatcher's Run and the Vaughan road, Humphreys stretching beyond Dabney's Mill, Warren on the extreme left reaching as far as the junction of the Vaughan road and the Boydton plank-road, and Sheridan at Dinwiddie Court House. The weather had become cloudy, and
e to say to you, that if in your judgment the Fifth Corps would do better under one of the division commanders, you are authorized to relieve General Warren, and order him to report to General Grant, at headquarters. General Sheridan replied, in effect, that Map of the battle of five Forks. In his official report, General Fitzhugh Lee gives the following account of the battle of Five Forks from the Confederate point of view: Our position in the vicinity of Dinwiddie Court House [March 31st] brought us to the rear of the left of the infantry confronting the right of our line of battle at Burgess's Mills, and ascertaining during the night that that force, consisting of the Fifth Corps, had about-faced and was marching to the support of Sheridan and his discomfited cavalry, which would have brought them directly upon our left flank, at daylight on the 1st we commenced moving back to our former position at Five Forks, where Pickett placed his infantry in line of battle. W. H. F
ters to another, wading through swamps, penetrating forests, and galloping over corduroy roads, engaged in carrying instructions, getting information, and making extraordinary efforts to hurry up the movement of the troops. The next morning, April 1st, General (rant said to me: I wish you would spend the day with Sheridan's command, and send me a bulletin every half-hour or so, advising me fully as to the progress of his movements. You know my views, and I want you to give them to Sheridan nk, my orderly called out to them the news of the victory. The only response he got was from one of them who raised his open hand to his face, put his thumb to his nose, and yelled: No, you don't — April fool! I then realized that it was the 1st of April. I had ridden so rapidly that I reached headquarters at Dabney's Mill before the arrival of the last courier I had dispatched. General Grant was sitting with most of the staff about him before a blazing camp-fire. He Outer works of Fort S
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