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[481] urged to be prompt and to move at once; he was told of the immense need of his presence; and he had himself, hours before, suggested the very operation which he had now been ordered to execute. His troops were expected to reach Sheridan by midnight, but Griffin was not ordered to leave his position on the White Oak road till five A. M. on the 1st of April, 1 and Ayres only reported to Sheridan at daylight.2

The bridge on the Boydton road at the crossing of Gravelly run was broken, and at 9.50 P. M., Warren was aware of this fact and announced it to Meade. The stream, however, had been forded the same night by aides-de-camp of both Grant and Sheridan, whose feet were not wet as they sat in their saddles. The infantry would doubtless have had some difficulty in crossing, but war is full of difficulties as well as dangers, and the officer who allows them to deter and overcome him is apt to terminate his career in failure, and never pleases such superiors as Sheridan and Grant.

When Meade heard of this impediment, he wrote, anxiously and imperatively, to Warren: ‘A dispatch, partially transmitted, is received, indicating the bridge over Gravelly run is destroyed, and time will be required to rebuild it. If this is the case, would not time be gained by sending the troops by the Quaker road? Time is of the utmost importance. Sheridan cannot maintain himself at Dinwiddie

1 ‘About five A. M. on the morning of April 1st, an order was received through a staff officer to move the First division with all possible despatch via the J. Boisseau house, and report to General Sheridan.’—Griffin's Report.

2 ‘As we approached, just after daylight, the enemy decamped.’— Ayres's Report.

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