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[79]

Movements to April Fifth.

Longstreet crossed the Appomattox at Pocahontas bridge and moved along the north side of the river, intending to recross at Bevil's bridge, but that being out of repair, used the pontoon at Goode's bridge. Gordon taking the Hickory road, recrossed at Goode's bridge, and Kershaw's and Custis Lee's divisions, comprising Ewell's command at Richmond, crossed the James at Richmond and moving on the Genito road followed by Gary's cavalry, crossed the Appomattox on the Danville railroad bridge. Grant sent Sheridan and the Fifth corps to move on the south side of the river, to follow Lee's army and strike the Danville road between its crossing of the Appomattox and the crossing of the Lynchburg road at Burkeville Junction. General Meade himself, with the Second and Sixth corps, followed with the same general instructions, and Ord's command was ordered to move along the south side of the railroad to Burkeville Junction, followed by the Ninth corps.

It will be seen that the Fifth infantry corps and Sheridan's cavalry, on the morning of the 3d, were in position to cut off Lee's retreat by the south bank of the Appomattox.

Longstreet reached Amelia Courthouse on the afternoon of the 4th. Gordon's command was three or four miles distant, and Mahone's division was still near Goode's Bridge. Ewell's command arrived about 12 o'clock, and Anderson and Fitz Lee's cavalry on the morning of the 5th. For some reason the expected supplies at Amelia were not there, and hunger and fatigue told fearfully upon the men who had had but one ration since the retreat commenced. In order to obtain food foraging parties were sent out, and Lee was detained at Amelia on the 4th, and a large part of the 5th of April. Thus precious time was lost and the last opportunity to strike at Grant's widely scattered pursuing columns. Meanwhile, Sheridan, on the afternoon of the 4th, had struck the Danville road at Jetersville, seven miles southwest of Amelia Courthouse, and entrenched. Lee's infantry at this time did not amount to 25,000 fighting men, and as Sheridan's cavalry was entrenched at Jetersville and had been reinforced by the Fifth corps, it equalled, if it did not exceed Lee's whole army, and Lee, who had advanced towards Jetersville on the afternoon of the 5th with the view of attacking Sheridan, if he had not been too heavily reinforced by infantry, had no alternative but to

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