efforts of Meade
and his subordinates.
All night the army of the Potomac marched, though it had been allowed no rest for five full days and nearly as many nights; marched without food, as its commander said, ‘as ready to die from fatigue and starvation as from the bullets of the enemy.’
, meanwhile, pushed on nearly as hard; for Grant
constantly used the army of the James to cut off and prevent any possible flight or escape of Lee
by a detour in the direction of Danville
He was at this time striking hard with one wing of his command, and extending the other to retain the rebels in a position where they could be struck.
In this way Ord
did as good service as Meade
, on the 5th, the army of the Potomac and the cavalry were in front of Lee
; the rebels were intercepted; the national forces were thrown directly across the road to Johnston
And here, if Meade
had possessed the highest genius for generalship, he would have attacked and destroyed the remainder of the rebel command.
, instead of Appomattox
, would have seen the termination of the war. Lee
must inevitably have been crushed, and nothing but the fragments of his army could have escaped.
It is not possible that any organized rebel force could have resisted or remained, after an onset of the national troops at Jetersville
But, though Lee
himself had also neglected to use his chance, and push through Sheridan
's little advance while the rebels were superior; failing, as he always did, in bold aggressive action; he nevertheless was always admirable in flight and evasion; he had a positive genius for eluding his enemy; and,