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[583] back upon the main rebel force. But the bridges had been destroyed. Lee was now entrenched in a strong position on the crest of a hill, crowned with entrenchments and batteries, at the intersection of the Farmville and High bridge roads, about five miles north of Farmville. He was evidently making a stand to cover the withdrawal of his trains.

As soon as Humphreys ascertained that he was in front of all that was left of the rebel army, he promptly ordered Barlow up from Farmville, but still thought Lee's position too strong to attack single-handed. He therefore sent back to Meade, now at High bridge, and asked that an advance might be made from Farmville, in support of the Second corps. But the army of the Potomac had passed entirely beyond High bridge on the southern side, and the bridges at Farmville were destroyed. Immediate reinforcement was therefore impracticable. The situation of Humphreys now became precarious. He was alone, north of the river, in front of a superior and desperate force, while the various national columns on the opposite side, were either heading for Prince Edward, in an entirely different direction, or else effectually prevented from crossing to his relief at Farmville.

The Sixth corps had started early in the morning, following the enemy on the Farmville road; but at Rice's station, Wright found that the army of the James had already passed, and was, of course, in his advance. His march was now greatly impeded by the movements of both Ord and Crook in his front. Nevertheless, he advanced to the vicinity of Farmville, and massed his corps on the high ground overlooking the town. Meanwhile, the Fifth corps had

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