I had spent days of anxiety lest each morning should bring the report that the enemy had retreated the night before. I was firmly convinced that Sherman's crossing the Roanoke would be the signal for Lee to leave. With Johnston and him combined, a long, tedious and expensive campaign, consuming most of the summer, might become necessary. By moving out I would put the army in better condition for pursuit, and would at least, by the destruction of the Danville road, retard the concentration of the two armies of Lee and Johnston, and cause the enemy to abandon much material that he might otherwise save. I therefore determined not to delay the movement ordered.On the night of the 27th, three divisions of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth corps, preceded by McKenzie's cavalry, took up the line of march, and was in position, near Hatcher's run, on the morning of the 29th. The Fifth corps moved at 3 a. m. of that day, the Second at 9. Sheridan's cavalry reached Dinwiddie Court House the night of the 29th, and the left of the infantry advance extended to the Quaker road, near its junction with the
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