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[565] Mackenzie was returned to the army of the James. Before Meade's triple column had advanced three miles, the vanguard of each corps discovered that Lee had already withdrawn from Amelia. As Grant and Sheridan had anticipated, the rebels had moved in the night, and were endeavoring to pass around the national left, marching by the Deatonsville road, in the direction of Farmville. A column of rebel infantry with a wagon train could be distinctly seen not more than a mile and a half from the left of the Second corps.

Lee thus confessed his inability to make his way to Johnston by the road of his own selection, and could no longer hope to join him by any road whatever. The whole plan of the retreat had failed. The rebel columns now must head for Lynchburg, where there were still some few supplies, and from which point Lee perhaps had visions of scattering his forces in the mountains to keep up a partisan war. But Lynchburg is sixty miles from Amelia, and at Farmville the Appomattox must be recrossed. Lee was marching now by a road parallel with Grant, only five miles distant, with his flank exposed to attack and his retreating column liable to be cut in pieces and destroyed in detail. With the hope of reaching Burksville must have vanished all hope of saving his army. Grant, he by this time knew, was not likely to slacken pursuit, or to leave any avenue of escape between the national columns. The Confederacy itself was utterly broken, its president a fugitive, its capital in ruins. All that military honor or loyalty to his cause demanded had been performed, and every life lost after this time was needlessly sacrificed by Lee. All the suffering

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