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[569] rear of the army to the left; the Fifth corps marched to the extreme right, and the Second became the centre. This disposition afforded an admirable opportunity to attack the rebels in flank, and was made under the immediate direction of Grant. It was in conformity with his instructions of the night before, and carried out his idea of intercepting the flight of the enemy, whereas Meade's original orders had been calculated only for pursuit.

The country, however, was open, and the roads were numerous, and at first the rebels made good speed. They had started early in the night, and fear is a wonderful spur. Grant remained in Jetersville with Meade, overlooking the advance, and sending through him orders to the corps commanders. To Humphreys he said: ‘The Fifth corps covers well your flank and rear, and Wright your left. You are therefore at liberty to push forward with your whole corps and to strike the enemy wherever you may find him. . . . Push on as rapidly as possible. . . . Sheridan will attack with three divisions. . . . Push on without fear of your flanks.’

Humphreys never needed urging to advance against the enemy. He was one of the commanders after Grant's own heart, who attacked without orders, and ‘without fear of his flanks.’ He struck the rebel column almost at once, and Grant immediately sent word to Griffin, now making a detour on the right, so as to come in on the enemy's rear: ‘Humphreys has struck the enemy at Deatonsville. He reports the train and a column of infantry moving through Deatonsville. Another column is west of this one. Sheridan is moving on them. Wright moves south-west from here. General Ord moves ’

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U. S. Grant (4)
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