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[743] Danville. This was a miscalculation; and exposed Crook, who, with the remaining division, with difficulty forded the Appomattox near Farmville, to repulse from a body of Rebel infantry defending a train which they charged; our Gen. Gregg being here captured. So our brilliant successes of the 6th were followed by none whatever on the 7th.

Pursuit was resumed by all hands on the morning of the 8th; the 2d and 6th corps, under Meade, moving north of the Appomattox, or directly on the trail of the enemy; while Sheridan, undeceived as to Lee's making for Danville, led his cavalry to head him off from Lynchburg, his only remaining refuge. Ord's and Griffin's corps followed the cavalry; but of course did not keep pace with them.

SheridanCrook having already, by order, recrossed the Appomattox — concentrated his troopers on Prospect station, and pushed on Merritt's and Crook's divisions briskly to Appomattox station, on the Lynchburg railroad, 5 miles south of Appomattox C. H., where he had been apprised by scouts that four trains had just arrived from Lynchburg, laden with supplies for Lee's hungry followers. By a march of 28 miles, the depot and trains were reached; and, by the skillful dispositions of Gen. Custer, holding our advance, surrounded and captured. Without a moment's hesitation, Custer, supported by Devin, pushed on toward Appomattox C. H., finding himself confronting the van of Lee's army, which he fought till after dark, driving it back on the main body, capturing 25 guns, a hospital train, a large park of wagons, and many prisoners. Sheridan brought up the rest of his cavalry so fast as possible; planting it directly across the path of the enemy, and preparing to hold on, while securing the captured trains, and sending word to Griffin, Ord, and Grant, that the surrender or destruction of Lee's entire force was now inevitable. In consequence of these advices, Griffin and Ord, with the 5th, the 24th, and one division of the 25th corps, reached, by a forced march, Appomattox station about daylight next morning.1

But one hope remained to Lee. Ruefully aware that Sheridan had intercepted his flight, he presumed his way blocked by cavalry alone, and at once ordered a charge of infantry. He had sent, at evening before, the following response to Grant's later overture:

April 8, 1865.
General — I received at a late hour your note of to-day. In mine of yesterday, I did not intend to propose the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, but to ask the terms of your proposition. To be frank, I do not think the emergency has arisen to call for the surrender of this army; but, as the restoration of peace should be the sole object of all, I desired to know whether your proposals would lead to that end. I can not, therefore, meet you with a view to surrender the Army of Northern Virginia; but, as far as your proposal may affect the Confederate States forces under my command, and tend to the restoration of peace, I should be pleased to meet you at 10 A. M. to-morrow, on the old stage-road to Richmond, between the picket-lines of the two armies.

Grant was with the column pursuing directly under Meade, and received the above about midnight. Before starting next morning to join Sheridan and Griffin, he dispatched the following reply:

1 Sunday, April 9.

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