After consulting with General Ord, who was in command of these corps, I rode to the front, near Appomattox Court-house, and just as the enemy in heavy force was attacking the cavalry with the intention of breaking through our lines, I directed the cavalry, which was dismounted, to fall back, gradually resisting the enemy, so as to give time for the infantry to form its lines and march to the attack, and when this was done to move off to the right flank and mount. This was done, and the enemy discontinued his attack as soon as he caught sight of our infantry. I moved briskly around the left of the enemy's line of battle, which was falling back rapidly (heavily pressed by the advance of the infantry), and was about to charge the trains and the confused mass of the enemy, when a white flag was presented to General Custer, who had the advance, and who sent the information to me at once that the enemy desired to surrender. Riding over to the left at Appomattox Court-house, I met Major-General Gordon, of the rebel service, and Major-General Wilcox. General Gordon requested a suspension of hostilities, pending negotiations for a surrender then being held between Lieutenant-General Grant and General Lee. I notified him that I desired to prevent an unnecessary effusion of blood, but as there was nothing definitely settled in the correspondence, and as an attack had been made on my lines with the view to escape, under the impression our force was only cavalry, I must have some assurance of an intended surrender. This General Gordon gave by saying that there was no doubt of the surrender of General Lee's army. I then separated from him, with an agreement to meet these officers again in half an hour at Appomattox Court-house. At the specified time, in company with General Ord, who commanded the infantry, I again met this officer, also Lieutenant-General Longstreet, and received from them the same assurance, and hostilities ceased until the arrival of Lieutenant-General Grant. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
cavalry headquarters, Dinwiddie Court-House, March 31, 1865.The enemy's cavalry attacked me about ten o'clock to-day on the road coming in from the west and a little north of Dinwiddie Court-house. This attack was very handsomely repulsed by General Smith's brigade of Crook's division, and the enemy was driven across Chamberlain's creek.Shortly afterward the enemy's infantry attacked on the same creek in heavy force, and drove in General Davies' brigade, and advancing rapidly gained the forks of the road at J. Boisseau's. This forced Devin, who was in advance, and Davies, to cross to the Boydton road. General Gregg's brigade and General Gibbs' brigade, who had been toward Dinwiddie. then attacked the enemy in the rear very handsomely. This stopped the march toward the left of our infantry, and finally caused them to turn toward Dinwiddie, and attack us in heavy force. The enemy then again attacked at Chamberlain's creek and forced Smith's position. At this time Capeheart and Pennington's brigades of Custer's division came up and a very handsome fight occurred. The enemy have gained some ground, but we still hold in front of Dinwiddie, and Davies and Devin are coming down the Boydton road to join us. The opposing force was Pickett's division, Wise's independent brigade of infantry, and Fitzhugh Lee's, Rosser's, and W. H. Lee's cavalry commands. The men have behaved splendidly. Our loss in killed and wounded will probably number four hundred and fifty men; very few were lost as prisoners. We have of the enemy a number of prisoners. This force is too strong for us. I will hold on to Dinwiddie Court-house until I am compelled to leave. Our fighting to-day was all dismounted.
Dabney Mills, March 31, 1865--10:05 P. M.The Fifth corps has been ordered to your support. Two divisions will go by J. Boissean's and one down the Boydton road. In addition to this I have sent McKenzie's cavalry, which will reach you by the Vaughan road. All these forces, except the cavalry, should reach you by twelve to-night. You will assume command of the whole force sent to operate with you, and use it to the best of your ability to destroy the force which your command has fought so gallantly to-day.