the guns were abandoned; but the rebels pressed on, and beyond Farmville
they turned once more with indomitable courage to hold off their energetic foe. But the pursuit was as terrible and unintermitted as the flight; the columns were all advancing, though generals were captured and divisions repelled; the cavalry crossed and re-crossed the Appomattox
; solitary corps were endangered; others were obstructed; others marching across each other's path, and the troops entangled on the unfamiliar roads.
But the chief was never more a chief than on this day; bringing order out of chaos, directing all his commanders, perfecting and developing his original strategy all the time; and at night, after all the confused events of the day—the army of the Potomac was north of the Appomattox
, close up against the rebel entrenchments, while the cavalry and the left wing were still stretching out westward to head the wearied columns of the foe.
That night once more the rebels evacuated their works, this time in front of Meade
, and when morning dawned were far on their way, as they fondly thought, to Lynchburg
; and Lee
defiantly informed his pursuer that the emergency for surrender had not arrived.
But he reckoned without his host.
He was stretching, with the terrific haste that precedes despair, to Appomattox
, for supplies.
He need hardly have hastened to that spot, destined to be so fatal to himself and his cause.
's legions were making more haste than he. The marvellous marching, not only of Sheridan
, but of the men of the Fifth and Twenty-fourth corps, was doing as much as a battle to bring the rebellion to a close.
Twenty-eight, thirty-two, thirty-five miles a day, in