previous next
‘ [475] to Sheridan should start at once, and go down the Boydton road.’ This was very different from the instructions issued by Meade ten minutes before. The officer who brought the news from Sheridan had missed his way, and stopped at Meade's headquar-ters for a guide, and at 7.30 P. M., before the receipt of Grant's directions, Meade sent word to Warren: ‘Dispatch from General Sheridan says he was forced back to Dinwiddie court-house by a strong force of cavalry, supported by infantry. This leaves your rear and that of the Second corps on the Boydton plank road open, and will require great vigilance on your part. If you have sent the brigade down the Boydton plank, it should not go further than Gravelly run, as I don't think it will render any service but to protect your rear.’

These orders were indeed in accordance with the tenor of Grant's earlier dispatches before he knew of Sheridan's danger. So long as he had no fears for the cavalry, the general-in-chief simply desired to protect Warren against an intervention of the enemy between his left and Dinwiddie; but the moment he learned that Sheridan was opposed by infantry as well as horse, and had been badly handled by superior numbers, he changed the entire character of his orders. With his invariable instinct in an emergency, he determined to convert the defence into an offensive movement, and ordered an entire division at once to Sheridan. The method of many commanders is first of all to protect themselves, and then to injure the enemy; but Grant's impulse always was to strike first, and he did it so quickly that the blow was sometimes delivered before his judgment was exercised; but it always

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Gravelly Run (Virginia, United States) (1)
Boydton (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Warren Sheridan (6)
Meade (3)
U. S. Grant (3)
G. K. Warren (2)
Dinwiddie (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: