, sufficient at first to drive him back to the Boydton
road, at the same time massed a still larger command in front of Sheridan
, and with infantry and cavalry combined, pushed back the entire mounted strength of the national army.
On the night of the 31st of March, Sheridan
was in actual danger of being cut off and perhaps destroyed.
But to do this, Lee
had been obliged, not only to weaken his lines in front of Meade
, but absolutely to detach Pickett
and the cavalry from his army; and Pickett
was now in as much danger of being enveloped and destroyed by Grant
was by Lee
But, although pushed back five miles, Sheridan
was not dismayed.
After the battle he reported to Grant
: ‘The enemy have gained some ground, but we still hold in front of Dinwiddie
, and Davies
are coming down the Boydton
road to join us. . . . The men behaved splendidly.
Our loss in killed and wounded will probably number four hundred and fifty men; very few were lost as prisoners.
This force is too strong for us. I will hold out at Dinwiddie court-house until I am compelled to leave.’1
He asked for no help and made no suggestions, but left it for Grant
to determine whether or not he should be reinforced.
He was too well acquainted with the temper and character of his chief to suppose for a moment that he would be left unsupported, or that the aggressive movement already dictated would be abandoned.
After sending his dispatch, Sheridan
put everything in order for the morrow.