At dark Sheridan
was at Dinwiddie court-house, where the Boydton
, Flatfoot, and Five Forks roads converge.
He thus protected the left of the army, but, though communication was unobstructed between him and Grant
, the lines of the infantry and cavalry were separated by an interval of five miles.
On the night of the 29th, Grant
sent word to Sheridan
: ‘Our line is now unbroken from the Appomattox
We are all ready, however, to give up all from the Jerusalem plank road to Hatcher
's run, whenever the force can be used advantageously.
After getting into line south of Hatcher
's run, we pushed forward to find the enemy's position. . . I feel now like ending the matter
, if it is possible to do so, before going back
. I do not want you, therefore, to cut loose and go after the enemy's roads at present.
In the morning, push around the enemy, if you can, and get on to his right rear.
The movements of the enemy's cavalry may, of course, modify your action.
We will all act together as one army, until it is seen what can be done with the enemy.’
Whoever wishes to learn the secret of Grant
's success should study this homely little dispatch to Sheridan
; for not a few of the traits by which he was most distinguished are indicated in its lines.
His unwillingness to take a retrograde step can be seen in the words: ‘I feel like ending the matter before we go back;’ his constant aim at concentration in: ‘We will all act together as one army;’ his willingness to sacrifice even important objects for the sake of the paramount one in: ‘We are ready to give up all from the Jerusalem plank road ’