force from the west had retired, and hearing rumors that disaster had overtaken General Lee
's army at Appomattox Station, he marched toward Farmville
, but returned and encamped near Lynchburg
, his command having traveled 36 miles.
On Sunday, April 9th, General Lomax
, accompanied by Engineer Hotchkiss
, made an inspection of the defenses of Lynchburg
, then went to his camp, three miles down the James
, where rumor after rumor came in, saying that General Lee
had had a battle on the 8th, losing most of his train and artillery; and that there was further combat on the morning of the 9th, when he had surrendered.
These rumors were confirmed, later in the day, although there were some officers present who were of the opinion that Lee
had escaped, with part of his army, toward Danville
Gloom and sadness pervaded the entire community.
Later in the day Generals Rosser
arrived, with the remnants of their forces and Lynchburg
swarmed with broken and fugitive fragments of commands.
On the 10th, Lomax
marched, at 6 a. m., toward Danville
, by way of Rustburg, his command reaching Pannill
's bridge, on the Staunton
, or Roanoke river
He established his headquarters four miles further on at Mc-Daniel's, after a ride of 30 miles. Rosser
, with his staff, rode on to Danville
, expecting to meet Gen. R. E. Lee
and his army at that point.
The whole country was full of soldiers claiming to have escaped from Lee
On the 11th, Lomax
's command marched, by way of Chalk Level, to seven miles beyond Pittsylvania Court House, toward Danville
On the 12th positive and reliable information was received that Gen. Robert E. Lee
had surrendered himself and the army of Northern Virginia.
As soon as the troops were reliably informed as to this momentous and opinion-changing event, a complete demoralization and disintegration of the cavalry and artillery of Lomax
's command took place; nearly all the Virginia
troops determining to go home, as the surrender of General Lee
led them to firmly believe that there was no further hope for the Confederacy
Large numbers of soldiers swarmed across the country that had left the army of Northern Virginia without surrendering, though but few had brought away their arms.
A portion of the cavalry went away during the night of the 11th.
On the 12th