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[508]

But Lee was apparently stunned, or bewildered, by the extent of his misfortunes or the prescience of further disaster. The right of his army had been wrenched violently from the centre, yet he allowed his left to remain separated by the James river from the bulk of his command, while he stood still to receive the blow which he knew was about to fall. He seems, indeed, to have lost his usual selfcon-troll, for, in his chagrin at the defeat of Pickett, he declared that he would place himself at the head of his troops when they next went into action, and he ordered his generals to put all stragglers in arrest, with plain reference to the conduct of the officers. But the inhabitants of Richmond had no warning of their danger, and there is no record that even the rebel government was yet apprised of the calamity at Five Forks. Lee's whole conduct at this crisis was that of a man whose faculties were beginning to give way amid the wreck of his cause and the crash of his army tumbling into ruins around him.

On the morning of the 2nd of April, the assault was made by Wright and Parke; Ord and Humphreys at first waiting to ascertain the result on the right of the line.

Wright had assembled his troops at the point where, on the 25th of March, he had carried the rebel entrenched picket line, in front of his old left. This was within striking distance of the enemy's main entrenchments. The national line here turned to the south, so that the Sixth corps faced both north and west, and fronted towards the Boydton road. The command was formed in three divisions, the centre somewhat in advance, and the other two right and left in front respectively, in order to be ready

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