Story of battle of five Forks.And other events of the last days of the Confederacy-the Appomattox surrender.
Graphically told by Lieutenant-Colonel Robert M. Stribling, of Virginia artillery.
General Sheridan, having concentrated his cavalry corps at Dinwiddie Courthouse after some skirmishing, on the 31st of March, moved against General Fitz Lee, who had assembled the Confederate cavalry corps at Five Forks, from four to five miles west of Burgess' Mill. Fitz Lee had called for some infantry to equalize, as far as possible, his strength with that of Sheridan. Pickett's division was sent to him that morning. These two commands, then, drove Sheridan back in confusion  to Dinwiddie Courthouse. On the same day (31st of March), Warren advanced his corps from the neighborhood of Armstrong's Mill towards Five Forks; so that when the engagement between Sheridan and Fitz Lee closed for the night, Warren's corps was on Fitz Lee's flank, and almost in his rear. Pickett and Fitz Lee, perceiving the conditions, fell back at light the next morning (April 1st), and arranged their commands in line of battle at Five Forks, with Pickett's division in line, Munford covering its left flank, W. H. F. Lee its right flank, and Rosser in reserve on the other side of Hatcher's Run. Between this line and the fortified line at Burgess' Mill, held by Lieutenant-General R. H. Anderson, with Johnson's division, was a gap of several miles in width, only picketed by Roberts' small command. Sheridan, reinforced by Warren with his corps, that had been placed under his command, advanced, and, by 3 P. M., had uncovered Fitz Lee's line. Having ascertained the extent of the line, Warren was directed to move around its left flank, between it and Burgess' Mill, and thus to completely sever it from the body of the army, and cut off its retreat or any reinforcements to it; and then he was to press in upon it, whilst the cavalry, dismounted, engaged Pickett's attention in front.
Warren's advance.In the advance on the flank Warren was encountered only by Munford, with his two small brigades of cavalry, that he drove back until he had room to deploy in the line upon the flank and rear of Pickett's division. He then quickly moved upon it, doubled it up, and drove it from the field in the utmost confusion towards the west, and captured the greater part of the artillery and many prisoners. Warren then arranged his corps so as to preclude the possibility of these forces reuniting with the body of the army. It had happened that Fitz Lee, during the day, notified Lieutenant-General R. H. Anderson, who was at Burgess' Mill with Johnson's division, that the Fifth Corps was with Sheridan, and that Sheridan, now with overwhelming force, was pressing upon him. Anderson, in person, with Wise's and Gracie's brigades, moved to his relief, but as Warren had  already crossed the White Oak road, the direct line of communication between the two places, and Humphreys (see his report) had sent Miles' division around on that road to confront the forces at Burgess' Mill, Anderson made a circuit around Miles and Warren, reached the neighborhood after Fitz Lee and Pickett had been routed, and without affording any assistance whatever added those brigades to the routed and disorganized, and left the right wing of Lee's army with almost no infantry and without any cavalry.
Warren successful, but relieved.After the very successful operations of this day, in which Warren had played so important and conspicuous a part, and his corps had done the work, that evening he received the following orders:
Markham, Fauquier county, Va.