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[363] and thereby to express to them my warm wishes for their future, and my sympathy with them, whatever that future may be.

I feel, too, that many to whom it would have been gratifying to carry with them to their homes my testimony of their services have been deprived of it. So far as this can be remedied, I shall be glad to do so yet. I also hope that those who may have been overlooked in the distribution of honors will write to me, and I will endeavor to promote their just claims as far as my endorsement can.

No. 119 East Seventeenth Street, New York city,, December 10, 1865.


I give herein an appendix of all the authoritative communications yet published on the battle of Five Forks

Letter from General Warren in regard to his being relieved by General Sheridan.

Mississippi River, Thursday, May 11, 1865.
To the Editors of the New York Times:
I respectfully request the publication in your paper of this communication and accompanying letters relating to the battle of Five Forks.

The only reason I have heard assigned for relieving me at that time were the surmises of newspaper correspondents, which there is no authority for. But an unfriendly spirit toward me apparently dictated their suppositions, and they have done me much injustice. I was relieved only after the battle was over, and while at the head of my troops, and when not even a fugitive of the enemy was in sight.

I personally sought of General Sheridan a reason for his order; but he would not, or could not, give one, and declined to do so. I obeyed the order to report to General Grant that night, and was by him assigned to the command of the defences at City Point and Bermuda Hundred. After the evacuation of Richmond and Petersburg, I was given the command of the troops at the latter place and along the Southside Railroad, belonging to the Army of the Potomac. When these troops were relieved by troops from the Army of the James, I was left in Petersburg awaiting orders. I then addressed a letter (copy sent herewith), dated April ninth, to General Rawlins, Chief of Staff, soliciting an investigation. On the twenty-second April, I sent another, requesting permission to publish the first one, for the reasons set forth therein (copy sent herewith). On the second May, I telegraphed Colonel Bowers, Adjutant-General, to ascertain if these had been received, and he answered, they “were received, the latter during General Grant's absence. Orders have been sent you (me) to report here, when you can see the General.”

On May third, I received by telegraph an extract from General Orders No. 78, of May first, assigning me to the command of the Department of the Mississippi I at once proceeded to Washington, and, after a personal interview with General Grant, received, on the sixth of May, an answer to my communications of the ninth and twenty-second April, authorizing my publishing them, and stating the reasons for not granting me the investigation sought. A copy of this letter is herewith sent.

Having thus exhausted my means of getting at the cause of my being relieved by General Sheridan, I present the following brief account of the operations on the first of April:

The operations of the enemy on the thirty-first of March made it necessary for me to send a portion of my corps during the night to support General Sheridan's cavalry, which had been forced back to near Dinwiddie Court House. One of my divisions was thus compelled to march all night, after having fought all day, and the rest of the corps moved toward the enemy that confronted the cavalry at daybreak.

Our presence on the flank and rear of the enemy compelled him to fall back rapidly to the vicinity of the Five Forks, and General Sheridan, on advancing with the cavalry, found him slightly intrenched there. This force proved to be a complete division of the enemy's infantry, and all the cavalry of Lee's army.

I received an order from General Meade, after joining General Sheridan, to report to him for duty, which I did, and the corps was halted by his direction at the point where we joined him, about eight A. M. At one P. M. I was directed to bring up the corps to Gravelly Run Church, a distance of about two and three-fourths miles from where they had been halted, and there form with two divisions in front and one in reserve, so as to move with the whole corps, and attack and turn the enemy's left flank on the White Oak Road.

My line was formed accordingly. Ayres on the left, in three lines of battle; Crawford on the right, in three lines of battle; and Griffin's division in reserve in masses. This occupied till four P. M. The forward movement then began. General Ayres' division became first engaged, wheeling to the left, from facing north to facing west, as it advanced. General Crawford's division also wheeled to the left on General Ayres' as on a pivot, but owing to the nature of the ground and forests, and the greater distance to gain, he lost his connection with General Ayres.

Into the interval thus left General Griffin's division was placed. These two divisions steadily drove in the enemy's left flank. General Crawford's division moved on westward till it gained the road leading north from the centre of the enemy's position, when it was wheeled to the south, and attacked the troops that were endeavoring to hold this road as an outlet for escape.

All the divisions now closed in upon the enemy, capturing the artillery that was attempting to move north, and nearly all the infantry, which their movements had thrown in the greatest confusion. I successfully followed the operations

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