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The captured dispatch was of such importance that it was sent at once to General Lee, who, at four o'clock on the morning of the 7th, wrote in pencil a note to General Gordon of three pages, giving clear and most minute directions as to routes, and means to foil the enemy's plans. Considering General Lee's extremely difficult environment at the time and under the circumstances it was written, I think it will be regarded as one of the best illustrations of the mens aequa in arduis to be found in military annals. After General Gordon had studied the note with the aid of our maps, I put it in my pocket and preserved it, together with an original of the farewell order of the 10th of April, until it was sent to Mrs. Gordon as a memento of a remarkable incident in the career of her illustrious husband. Unfortunately, the original of General Lee's note was lost in the fire which consumed General Gordon's home in 1899, but I took the precaution before giving it away to have a copy made for the Official Records of the War, in which it now appears.

The mention of General Stuart's name in connection with the incident was, of course, a lapse of the pen.]

The bridge was built and the artillery and wagons passed over it before morning, so that when a Federal battery was unlimbered on a hill to the southward and opened fire soon after sunrise, April 6th, only the Engineer Troops and a gang of negro workmen, which had accompanied the army from Petersburg, were within range of the guns. The route General Lee intended to pursue was via Jetersville, the road to which did not cross Flat creek and therefore no attention had been paid to the condition of this bridge in advance of the movement.

After this nothing worth recording occurred under my observation until the command reached Sailors creek that evening just before the battle at that point, when orders were received to push forward and endeavor to expedite the movement of the wagon trains which was being retarded by a small stream over which there was only a single narrow bridge with many lines of wagons converging towards it, and contending for the right of way.

Additional crossings of the stream were soon provided and the congestion was being relieved when the disordered remnant of our rear guard, which had been routed at Sailor's creek, and the stampeded drivers and their teams from abandoned wagon trains came hurrying by.

Presuming that the enemy were in hot pursuit, the Engineer

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