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[522] It was the last fight made by rebel soldiers for their capital, and worthy of the old renown of the army of Northern Virginia.1

Fort Baldwin, the adjoining work, was at once evacuated, but the guns of Fort Gregg were turned on the retreating garrison, and the commander with sixty of his men surrendered.

The line of investment was now materially shortened, and the national troops closed in around Petersburg. The prolonged defence of Fort Gregg, however, had given Lee time to rally his disordered soldiers, and the arrival of Longstreet with his yet unbeaten command was a reinforcement that added spirit as well as strength to what was left of the routed army.

Meanwhile Sheridan had been busy on a more distant portion of the field. Miles reported to him at daybreak, and was ordered to move back towards Petersburg, and attack the enemy at the intersection of the White Oak and Claiborne roads. The rebels were found at this point, in force and in position, and Sheridan followed Miles immediately with two divisions of the Fifth corps. The enemy, however, withdrew from the junction, and Miles pursued with great zeal, pushing the fugitives across Hatcher's run, and following them up towards Sutherland station,

1 The rebel writers, not satisfied with the legitimate glory won by the defenders of Fort Gregg, have magnified it into something marvellous. They declare that the garrison was only two hundred and fifty strong, and that these fought until only thirty were left alive. As the fort remained in the national possession, the rebels could not possibly have a knowledge of the number who surrendered. General Foster, who captured it, reported in April, 1865, before these fables were circulated, that two hundred and fifty were taken prisoner, officers and men, and fifty-seven dead were found inside.

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Warren Sheridan (2)
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April, 1865 AD (1)
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