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[556] ‘Your note of 10.45 last night and order for movement this morning is received. I do not see that greater efforts can be made than you are making to get up with the enemy. We want to reach the remnant of Lee's army wherever it may be found, by the shortest and most practicable route. That your order provides for, and has my very hearty approval. Ord will make a forced march with Gibbon's two divisions, and will come near reaching Burksville to-day.’

Amid all the crowding interests and occupations of the pursuit the general-in-chief still kept Sherman in mind, and this morning sent him orders for his action under the new emergencies. He meant that the army in North Carolina should bear its part in all the shifting circumstances of the campaign. No force was to be wasted, no chance neglected, no effort unattempted, which could contribute to the complete result at which he was aiming. Success itself did not satisfy him, while that result in all its completeness was unattained.

‘All indications now are,’ he said to Sherman, ‘that Lee will attempt to reach Danville with the remnant of his force. Sheridan, who was up with him last night, reports all that is left, horse, foot, and dragoons, at twenty thousand,1 much demoralized. We hope to reduce this number one-half. I will push on to Burksville, and, if a stand is made at Danville, will in a few days go there. If you can possibly do so, push on from where you are, and let us see if we cannot finish the job with Lee and Johnston's armies. Whether it will be better ’

1 This was an under-estimate. Lee surrendered 27,000 four days later, besides all he lost in battle in the meantime.

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Fitz Hugh Lee (4)
William T. Sherman (2)
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