to the best of your ability to destroy the force which your command has fought so gallantly to-day.’
At three A. M. on the 1st of April, supposing Warren
to be in the position indicated, Sheridan
sent him the following orders: ‘I am holding in front of Dinwiddie court-house, on the road leading to Five Forks
, for three-quarters of a mile, with General Custer
The enemy are in his immediate front, lying so as to cover the road just this side of A. Adams' house, which leads out across Chamberlain
's bed or run. I understand you have a division at J. Boisseau
's; if so, you are in rear of the enemy's line, and almost on his flanks.
I will hold on here.
Possibly they may attack Custer
at daylight; if so, attack instantly and in full force.
Attack at daylight anyhow, and I will make an effort to get the road this side of Adams' house; and if I do, you can capture the whole of them.
Any force moving down the road I am holding, or on the White Oak
road, will be in the enemy's rear, and in all probability get any force that may escape you by a flank attack.
Do not fear my leaving here.
If the enemy remains, I shall fight at daylight.’
And so, all through this anxious night, the generals were issuing and receiving orders, the officers were marshalling or moving troops, and aides-de-camp and orderlies were riding across dark and muddy roads, threading forests and fording streams.
From daylight till daylight again, Grant
was sending messages to Lincoln
; directing first a division and then a corps of infantry, and afterwards another division of cavalry, to the support of his beleaguered subordinate; planning a battle on a field he had never seen; persisting