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[416] might be forwarded to White House, on the Pamunkey river.

He was anxious now about the crossing of the Pamunkey, which the enemy was sure to oppose with a heavy force. His scouts notified him that Pickett and Fitz Lee had returned from Lynchburg, and that Longstreet was preparing to move to prevent the passage of the river; but no advance had yet occurred. Sheridan, however, very well knew that the rebels would be unable to intercept him unless they marched to White House, or in that direction. He, therefore, determined to push boldly towards Richmond, and thus force them to come out and meet him at Ashland. Then he would himself withdraw, cross the North and South Anna rivers, and march rapidly round to White House before the rebels could arrive.

Custer and Devin accordingly proceeded by different roads towards Ashland, and Longstreet was found only four miles from that place, with Pickett and Johnson's infantry and Fitz Lee's cavalry. The feint had completely succeeded, and Sheridan's course was now entirely clear. One brigade was left to amuse the enemy, while the remainder of the command made haste to cross the North Anna and take up the line of march for White House. Longstreet was unable to operate on the Chickahominy, for Grant had given directions to Ord to send out a sufficient force to hold the region along that river. As soon, however, as the rebels discovered their mistake, they moved rapidly towards the Pamunkey, through Hanover court-house, but were unable to cross the river for lack of pontoons. At daylight on the 16th, Sheridan resumed his march, and on the

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