that a capitulation was inevitable.
Even if they were yet strong enough to beat off and cut through the host of pursuers so sharp upon their trail, they could only do so by the sacrifice of their remaining guns and munitions, and in a state of utter inefficiency from famine.
Already, weakness and fatigue had compelled half of their followers to throw away the arms which they were no longer able to carry.
was not present; but the judgment of the council was conveyed to him through Gen. Pendleton
was spared by Gen. Grant
the pain of first proposing a surrender.
While directing from Farmville
the pursuit, the latter dispatched to the front next morning the following letter:
The letter reached Lee
toward night; ere which, Humphreys
, following on his track, had been halted, 4 or 5 miles north of Farmville
, by all that was left of Lee
's forces, intrenched in a strong position, covering both the old and plank roads to Lynchburg
, with batteries commanding an open, gentle southward slope of half a mile, over which an assaulting column could only advance at a heavy cost.
attempted to turn the enemy's flank, but found this impracticable with his single corps; when, sending up Barlow
in front, and extending his right, he ordered Miles to attack on this wing; which he did, and was repulsed with a loss of over 600 killed and wounded. Brig.-Gen. Smyth
and Maj. Mills
were among our killed; Maj.-Gen. Mott
, Brig.-Gens. Madill
, and Col. Starbird
, 19th Maine, were severely wounded.
had got into position, it was too late to assault again that night; and, when darkness had shrouded his movements, Lee
silently resumed his retreat, first sending this response to Grant
, which reached him at Farmville
To this, Grant
, with all his cavalry, had started again on the morning of the 7th; Merritt
, with two divisions, moving by the left to Prince Edward C. H., to head off Lee
from retreating on