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[531] forces were massed at Smithfield, in North Carolina, half-way between Raleigh and Goldsboro, and a little nearer than Sherman's troops to Petersburg. If Lee could possibly succeed in joining Johnston, he would still command a formidable army, and might hope even yet to give the national general serious trouble, or at least secure more favorable terms for the shattered Confederacy. The distance between the rebel armies was a hundred and fifty miles. To accomplish his purpose Lee must evade the columns of Grant, striking first for Burksville, at the junction of the Southside and Danville roads, fifty miles from Richmond, and then move still further south towards Danville, to which point he might hope that Johnston would fall back in order to concentrate the two commands.

The Appomattox river, rising in the neighborhood of Lynchburg, and flowing east in a general course, ran directly across Lee's path, and as Grant had possession of the southern bank as far as Sutherland, the rebel general would be obliged to move on the opposite side for more than twenty miles; then, crossing at Goode or Bevil's bridge, he meant to strike for Amelia court-house on the Danville road, eighteen miles north of Burksville. At Amelia he expected to obtain supplies. Grant, of course, would divine his route and endeavor to follow or intercept his march; but Lee was no further from Burksville than the national army, and decidedly nearer to Amelia;1 his troops would have the impetus of flight, and would start some hours in advance. By

1 The rebel writers, with their habitual inaccuracy of military statement, declare that Grant had the interior line in these movements; but a glance at the map is sufficient to disprove the assertion.

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Fitz Hugh Lee (4)
U. S. Grant (4)
Joseph E. Johnston (2)
William T. Sherman (1)
Goode (1)
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