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[567] several hours, while the artillery and wagon trains passed on to cross the Appomattox at Farmville.

But Grant had already directed Ord to cut the bridge at Farmville, a little town of less than a thousand inhabitants, about fifteen miles north-west of Burksville. The Southside railroad crosses the Appomattox twice in this immediate neighborhood, first at High bridge, five miles east of the town, and again directly in Farmville. The wagon road to Lynchburg also crosses the Appomattox in the town. The river was too deep to ford, and Farm ville therefore became the point aimed at by both armies.

Ord had arrived at Burksville late in the night of the 5th, and before daylight on the 6th he dispatched two small regiments of infantry and his own Headquarters' escort, under command of Colonel Washburne, with orders to push for High bridge as rapidly as the exhausted condition of men and horses would allow. Washburne was to make a reconnoissance, burn the bridge, if not found too well guarded, and return at once, using great caution during the entire expedition. After this force had started, Ord received word that Lee had broken away from Amelia, and was apparently moving direct for Burksville junction. The army of the James was immediately put in position to meet the enemy, but the rebel column turned off in the direction of Farmville.

Ord now became anxious lest his bridge-burning party should encounter the entire cavalry command of Lee. He had already sent General Theodore Read, his chief of staff, to conduct the party, cautioning him to reconnoitre the country well before

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