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‘ [581] captures at twelve P. M., the order was reiterated for them to push on without waiting for morning. Mackenzie is probably there now.’

Sheridan's report from the battle had concluded with the words: ‘If the thing is pressed, I think that Lee will surrender.’ The general-in-chief forwarded a copy of the dispatch to Lincoln, who replied: ‘Let the thing be pressed.’

Early on the morning of the 7th of April, Ord discovered that the rebels had broken away in the night from his front, and were making desperate speed for Farmville. His whole command was put in motion at once in three columns, and came up on the rebel flank and rear as Lee was entering the town, where seven railroad trains had just arrived, loaded with supplies for the rebel army. At this point the Lynchburg railroad passes to the southern side of the Appomattox, while the wagon road crossess to the northern bank, the roads coming together again at Appomattox court-house, twenty miles further west. Lee, hard pressed by Ord, was unable to hold Farmville long enough to unload the trains, and accordingly ordered them west by rail, while he marched himself by the wagon road on the northern bank, to strike the supplies at Appomattox court-house.

But Grant was at his heels. Sheridan had started from Sailor's creek before daylight, and soon discovering that the rebels had evaded the army of the James at Rice's station, he ordered Merritt to move with two divisions to Prince Edward, passing around by the left of Ord, while Crook continued the direct pursuit along the Appomattox, and arrived at Farmville nearly as soon as the army of the James.

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