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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
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
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
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
April 6th, 1865 AD (search for this): chapter 16.107
dge 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 a little stream known as Sailor's Creek, I met General Fitzhugh Lee, who informed me that a large force of cavalry held the road just in front of General [R. H.] Anderson, and was so strongly posted that he had halted a short distance ahead. The trains were turned into the road nearer the river, while I hurrie
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
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
ead. The general, who never manifested the slightest sign of emotion either in victories or defeats, merely said: I am sorry I did not get this before we left the President. However, I suppose he has heard the news by this time, and then added: Let the news be circulated among the troops as rapidly as possible. Grant and Meade both went into camp at Sutherland's Station that evening, the 3d. The Army of Capture of guns and the destruction of a Confederate wagon-train at Paineville, April 5, by Davies's cavalry Brigade of Crook's division. From a sketch made at the time. The wagon-train was escorted by Gary's cavalry with five guns. General Humphreys, in The Virginia campaign, says it is believed that the papers of General. Robert E. Lee's headquarters, containing many valuable reports, copies of but few of which are now to be found, were destroyed by the burning of these wagons. the Potomac caught a few hours' sleep, and at 3 o'clock the next morning was again on the m
nt army that survived, were prisoners. Commodore Tucker and his Marine Brigade, numbering about 2000, surrendered to me a little later. They were under cover of a dense forest, and had been passed by in the first onset of the assault. Of the particular operations of the cavalry the writer of this, of his personal knowledge, knows little; but no less praise is due it than to tile infantry. In this battle more men were captured in actual conflict without negotiation than on any other field in America. pedestrians on a walking-track. As the general rode among them he was greeted with shouts and hurrahs, on all sides, and a string of sly remarks, which showed how familiar swords and bayonets become when victory furnishes the topic of their talk. [For the continuation of this narrative see page 729.] Confederates destroying the Railroad from Appomattox toward Lynchburg, and artillerymen destroying gun-carriages, at nightfall, Saturday, April 8. from a sketch made at the time.
April 2nd, 1865 AD (search for this): chapter 16.107
thing to eat. Before our capture I saw men eating raw fresh meat as they marched in the ranks. I was informed at General Wright's headquarters, whither I was carried after my capture, that 30,000 men were engaged with us when we surrendered, namely, two infantry corps and Custer's and Merritt's divisions of cavalry. General J. Warren Keifer, in a pamphlet on the battle of Sailor's Creek, says: General A. P. Hill, a corps commander in General Lee's army, was killed at Petersburg, April 2d, 1865, and this, or some other important reason, caused General Lee, while at Amelia Court House, to consolidate his army into two corps or wings, one commanded by Lieutenant-General Longstreet and the other by Lieutenant-General Ewell. The main body of the Confederate army had passed by toward Sailor's Creek. Pursuit with such troops as were up was promptly ordered by General Sheridan and conducted by General Horatio G. Wright, who commanded the Sixth Corps. The enemy's rear-guard fought
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