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‘ [557] for you to strike for Goldsboro, or nearer to Danville, you will be better able to judge when you receive this. Rebel armies are now the only strategic points to strike at.’

On the 5th of April, Grant still marched with the army of the James. Shortly after midday he arrived at Nottaway court-house, on the Southside road, only ten miles east of Burksville. At this point he halted for a few hours, to allow Ord's column to pass, and here he received a stirring dispatch from Sheridan: ‘The whole of Lee's army is at or near Amelia court-house, and on this side of it. General Davies, whom I sent out to Painesville on their right flank, has just captured six pieces of artillery and some wagons. We can capture the army of Northern Virginia if force enough can be thrown to this point, and then advance upon it. My cavalry was at Burksville yesterday, and six miles beyond, on the Danville road, last night. General Lee is at Amelia court-house in person. They are out of rations, or nearly so. They were advancing up the railroad towards Burksville yesterday, when we intercepted them at this point.’

Thus Sheridan was accomplishing exactly what Grant had intended, sometimes before he received his orders. The instincts of the two commanders were identical. Sheridan perhaps possessed a more fiery energy than even Grant; he fairly blazed at times with the passion of war; but when the two were combined—Grant to conceive and concentrate and control, and Sheridan to execute and consummate and achieve—the result transcended not only the hopes of the nation, but the apprehensions of the enemy.

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