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[555] and Wright at three in the morning, both corps without rations. Meanwhile Sheridan had recalled Merritt and Mackenzie from the right, and the head of Meade's command encountered the cavalry marching in the darkness. The double column crowded the road, and the infantry was delayed till Merritt's troopers had passed. At 4.30 A. M. on the 5th, Meade said to Sheridan: ‘If you wish the infantry to-day at Jetersville, you will have to send back and clear the road of cavalry. General Humphreys hopes to issue rations during the delay, but is ready to move as soon as the road is clear.’ It was indispensable, however, that the cavalry should have precedence, and Humphreys accordingly gave way, but took advantage of the enforced halt to issue rations to his command. Between seven and eight A. M. he moved again.

At night on the 4th, Grant was at Wilson's station, on the Southside road, with the army of the James, twenty-seven miles from Petersburg, and twenty-five from Burksville station—seventeen from the last camp. All day he had evidence of the spirit of his soldiers. Everywhere the national troops marched well, without stragglers, and cheered their chief whenever they caught sight of his little black pony, or the light blue overcoat he wore in this campaign. Everywhere he heard of stragglers and deserters from the rebel army. A railroad engineer, brought in this night, reported that Davis and his cabinet had passed through Burksville at three A. M. the day before, on their way south.

Before daylight on the 5th, Grant received Meade's dispatch of the night before, and replied at once, from his bivouac at Wilson's station:

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