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[374] right, W. H. F. Lee's division being nearest the infantry, Rosser's in the centre, and Munford's on the extreme right, making a mounted force of about 2,400 men. Our attack was made about sunrise, and the enemy's cavalry quickly driven out of the way with a loss of two guns and a number of prisoners. The arrival at this time of two corps of their infantry necessitated the retiring of our lines; during which, and knowing what would be the result, I withdrew the cavalry, W. H. F. Lee retiring towards our rear, and Rosser and Munford out towards Lynchburg, having cleared that road of the enemy.

Upon hearing that the Army of Northern Virginia had surrendered, the men were generally dispersed and rode off to their homes, subject to reassembling for a continuation of the struggle. I rode out in person with a portion of W. H. F. Lee's division, the nearest to me at that time, and previous to the negotiations between the commanders of the two armies. It will be recalled that my action was in accordance with the views I had expressed in the council the night before, that if a surrender was compelled the next day I would try and extricate the cavalry, provided it could be done without compromising the action of the Commanding General, but that I would not avail myself of a cessation of hostilities pending the existence of a flag of truce. I had an understanding with General Gordon that he should communicate to you the information of the presence of the enemy's infantry upon the road in our front. Apart from the fond though forlorn hope that future operations were still in store for the cavalry, I was desirous that they should not be included in the capitulations, because the ownership of their horses was vested in themselves, and I deemed it doubtful that terms would be offered allowing such ownership to continue. A few days convinced me of the impracticability of longer entertaining such hopes, and I rode into the Federal lines and accepted for myself the terms offered the officers of the Army of Northern Virginia; my cavalry are being paroled at the nearest places for such purposes in their counties.

The burning by the enemy of all my retained reports, records and data of every kind, near Painesville, in Amelia County, which were in one of the wagons destroyed, and my inability to get reports from my officers, is my apology for the rendition of a report incomplete in many, though I think minor, details. I particularly regret not being able to do justice, in this the only way I can, to the many acts of gallantry performed by officers and men upon the memorable retreat; but such conduct is usually derived from the reports of subordinate

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Painesville (Ohio, United States) (1)
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William H. F. Lee (3)
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