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[126] decisive conflict which Sheridan had sought with the Confederate cavalry took place. The latter were driven back upon Richmond; the gallant and knightly Stuart received his mortal wound, and the Union cavalry gained complete control of the highway leading to the Confederate capital. The casualties on both sides were severe.

Pushing on rapidly by way of the Meadow Bridge, Sheridan actually found himself and his force within the outer fortifications of the city of Richmond, and in imminent peril of annihilation. In fact, a portion of the command was in such close proximity to the city proper, that officers could plainly discern its lights and hear the dogs barking a warning to the city's defenders of the presence of an army of invaders.

But with his usual genius for overcoming difficulties, Sheridan quickly extricated his command from its hazardous and uncomfortable position, and pressing on over Bottom's Bridge and past Malvern Hill successfully reached Haxall's Landing on the James River, where the command was furnished much needed supplies. On May 17th, the raiding force began its retrograde movement to rejoin Grant, which was successfully accomplished on the 24th near Chesterfield Station, Virginia. Sheridan's casualties suffered on the raid were six hundred and twenty-five men killed, wounded, and captured, and three hundred horses.

General Grant describes the results attained in this famous raid as follows:

Sheridan, in this memorable raid, passed entirely around Lee's army, encountered his cavalry in four engagements, and defeated them in all; recaptured four hundred Union prisoners, and killed and captured many of the enemy; destroyed miles of railroad and telegraph, and freed us from annoyance by the cavalry for more than two weeks.

This brilliant success by the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac, was followed in June by one scarcely less important in its moral and material effect upon the ConfederacySheridan's

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