and those that had held the inner lines of Petersburg
were retreating westward, while the forces cut off by the battle of Five Forks
and the subsequent assaults hastened, north or south of the river, as they could, to meet their chief at Amelia court-house
, which he had appointed for a rendezvous.
When these all should come together, Lee
would still have more than fifty thousand soldiers, and he is said to have regained his spirits when daylight dawned, and he found himself, as he hoped, on the road to join Johnston
‘I have got my army safely out of its breastworks,’ he said, ‘and, in order to follow me, my enemy must abandon his lines, and can derive no further benefit from his railroads or the James river
evidently supposed that Grant
would attempt to follow the retreating army; and his own design must have been to fall in detail upon the national command, which would necessarily break up into corps and march over different roads.
Turning with a concentrated force upon these divided columns, beating them back here and there, he might himself be able to avoid any formidable blow, and effect his junction with Johnston
Then, possibly, a long campaign, with the national forces far from a base and supplies, might still protract the war.
had yet no experience of the remorseless energy with which Grant
pursued a routed enemy.
He had not served at the West
, and had, therefore, no recollection of the baffled plans, the intercepted supplies, the interrupted marches of the Vicksburg
campaign; and no conception whatever of the battles which came fast upon flight, the rain of blows that accompanied demands for surrender, the infantry that out-marched cavalry, the incessant attacks