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[616] possession of a considerable force of the enemy, that was burning the bridges there, and covering a wagon-train moving towards Lynchburg; but on Barlow's approach it abandoned the place, destroying one hundred and thirty wagons, and rejoined the main body of Lee's army.

This Humphreys found intrenched in a strong position four or five miles north of Farmville, covering the stage and plank roads to Lynchburg. It proved to be too formidable for a front attack—the ground being open and sloping up gradually to a crest about a thousand yards distant, which was covered with intrenchments and batteries. An attempt was then made to take it in flank, but the Confederate flanks were found to extend both on the right and left beyond the line of Humphrey's divisions, and it became manifest that all that remained of the Army of Northern Virginia was present. Barlow's division was then ordered up. Meanwhile Humphreys, having extended his right the length of one division, ordered Miles to make an attack with three regiments; but these met a complete repulse, suffering the loss of above six hundred in killed and wounded. It was too late to renew operations when Barlow arrived, and during the night Lee again retreated.

While these events were in progress, Sheridan dispatched two of his mounted divisions to Prince Edward Courthouse, and a third, that of Crook, to Farmville. The bridges having been burnt at this point, the horsemen crossed with great difficulty by wading; though the Sixth Corps, which was moving on the same line, was so delayed that it was not able to make the passage until night. Crook struck a train on the north side of Appomattox; but it was too well defended by infantry; and after a sharp skirmish the cavalry was driven off, General Gregg, commanding one of the brigades, being captured.

The night of the 7th General Lee received the following communication:

April 7, 1865.
General:—The result of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia in this


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