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‘ [570] from Burksville at eight A. M. You will strike their column by pushing, and you will see from the position of the troops that it must go hard with the enemy.’1 Griffin accordingly moved around to the north and west, and pushed after the enemy with great vigor, forcing him to burn many of his wagons, and picking up hundreds of stragglers on the road.

At the same time Grant sent a dispatch to Ord, who bore an important part in all this programme. ‘The enemy,’ he said, ‘evacuated Amelia last night or this morning, and are now apparently moving south-west to get on the Farmville and Danville road. . . . You will move out to intercept them, if possible, taking roads according to the information you may get, recollecting that the capture of the enemy is what we want. . . . Get your provostmar-shal or some one to ascertain if there is any movement from Danville this way.’

Soon after midday the general-in-chief received a report from Sheridan. ‘My information is that the enemy are moving to our left with their trains and whole army. The trains and army were moving all last night, and are very short of provisions, and very tired indeed. I think now is the time to attack them with all your infantry. They are reported to have begged provisions from the people of the country and along the road as they passed. I am working around further to my left.’ This information was at once communicated to the infantry commanders through Meade: ‘Sheridan reports that the ad.

1 These two dispatches to Humphreys and Griffin were in Meade's name, but really emanated from Grant. On such occasions Meade was careful to use as far as possible the very language of the general-in-chief.

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