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Chapter 20: Appomattox and after

The battle of Sailor's Creek to the 6th Corps was of special interest, for it settled by the capture of General Ewell and the remnants of his corps a long succession of bitter conflicts between them. They had met during the previous year, in the Wilderness, May 5th and 6th, again on May 10th in the charge led by General Upton that broke through their works. In the all day fight of the 12th of May they had again been antagonists. The campaign in the Valley of the Shenandoah had been waged against Early's division of Ewell's corps, and now at the very close of the war the final conflict between them had resulted in the destruction of the corps, so long led by the veteran general of Lee's 3d Army Corps.

The result was disastrous also to the Army of Virginia. After the loss of Ewell's corps no other route was left open for the retreat of the Confederate army except to recross the Appomattox River at High Bridge, and make for Lynchburg. This was done and the bridge was burned behind the retreating Confederates. The 6th Corps followed at once but was compelled to wait at Farmville until a new bridge could be thrown across the river. The corps was massed in bivouac just outside the village, and when the bridge was completed it was about midnight, a dark moonless and starless night. When the corps drew out of its bivouac and had fairly entered the village, all the houses of which were closed and dark, a band

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