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[468] Meade. Merritt was thrown forward on the principal road to the Forks; and, as he met with some opposition, Sheridan ordered Davies's brigade of Crook's division to join him, while Crook himself, with the remainder of his command, moved to the left to Chamberlain's creek, a little north and west of Dinwiddie, where the enemy was making preparations to cross.

For a hundred yards or more in front of the court-house the ground is high and clear, and then slopes down to Chamberlain's bed, on the west, the banks of which are thickly wooded. The road that crosses the bed was held by Smith, of Crook's command, on the extreme left of the line, and Gregg took position on the right of Smith. It was here the rebels made their first assault at ten o'clock in the morning. Their cavalry charged across the creek, but were driven back with a loss of five hundred men, and the infantry made no attempt to follow.1 The rebels pronounced this one of the severest cavalry fights of the war, but the assault was repelled and the position maintained.

In the meantime Merritt had nearly obtained possession of Five Forks, but, meeting a strong body of infantry, was compelled to retire, and formed a line west of the Five Forks road, with his back to the Boydton plank, and his left connecting with Crook. Gibbes's brigade was held in reserve about a mile north of Dinwiddie. But Pickett, now abandoning the attempt in front of Smith, withdrew his infantry, and succeeded in effecting a crossing at a point nearer the White Oak road. Then, with all

1Pickett's Men,’ by Walter Harrison, Adjutant-general of Pickett's division.

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George Crook (4)
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Wesley Merritt (1)
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