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[532] great exertions and expedition, the rebel chief still hoped to outmarch or out manoeuvre his antagonist. He recovered from his first dejection of the morning, and later in the day gave orders for the concentration of all his forces for a night march.

But first he was present at the burial of a comrade. General A. P. Hill, one of the ablest of his corps commanders, had fallen in the assaults of the morning, and soon after dark Lee with his staff attended the hurried funeral. Then he rode out on the northern bank, and watched the movements of his retreating army, standing by the side of his horse, bridle in hand, at the junction of the roads to Richmond and Amelia. The rebel troops filed silently in the darkness past their chief out of the city they had defended so long. But there were no longer any lines to be held, any earthworks to be defended. The evacuation began at ten o'clock and was complete before three. Then Lee mounted his horse and followed his army. The forts on the James were blown up, and the bridges over the Appomattox set on fire.

Desultory firing was kept up by Parke all night, and the batteries on his right opened at intervals upon the bridge, according to Grant's orders. As the evacuation was anticipated, the troops were instructed to use the greatest vigilance to detect any movement of the enemy, and at two A. M., Parke began feeling the rebel positions with skirmishers, but found the pickets still out. Before daylight, however, he reported that on two of his division fronts the rebel line, so far as developed, consisted only of skirmishers, and that a heavy explosion had occurred a little after three o'clock in the heart of Petersburg.

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Amelia Court House (Virginia, United States) (1)

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John G. Parke (2)
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