, further to the west, were cut off by Humphreys
in the night had endeavored to gather up what he had saved from the ruin at Five Forks
, and form a junction with the rebel right near Sutherland station, but, meeting the fugitives of Heth
, who had thrown away their arms, he retraced his steps and hurried to cross the Appomattox
at Exeter mills
meantime was coming up by the White Oak
road to shut off every avenue of escape, and complete the destruction of the enemy.
It seemed for a while as if conquered and conquerors would enter Petersburg
together, and whether Lee
could retain any organization at all or the Appomattox
be crossed, was a matter of doubt.
The rebel chief had anticipated his defeat, and dressed himself that morning in full uniform, with his finest sword, declaring that if forced to surrender, he would fall in harness; and when it was announced that his works were carried, he simply said: ‘It has happened as I thought; the lines have been stretched until they broke.’1
He fled with his escort from one position to another before the victorious columns, and once the advancing batteries were opened on a house where he had halted, and he was driven by their fire still nearer in towards Petersburg
At first but little effort seems to have been made to resist the national progress.
had been composed all through this terrible morning, but it was with the dull, apathetic composure of despair.
It was necessary, however, to make some stand, or every man in the rebel army