the end of the War
[As the Army of the Potomac was now settling down to winter quarters before Petersburg
chaffingly remarked to Lyman
one day toward the end of December: “I have a Christmas present for Mrs. Lyman
--a certain worthless officer whom I shall send home to her.”
And that evening he gave him a 300-day leave, with the understanding that Lyman
was to return with the opening of the active campaign in the spring.
Toward the end of February, Lyman
became restless, and fearing that operations might start in his absence, turned up at Headquarters on March 1.
On going into dinner, he was kindly greeted by General Meade
, who, poor man, although he had just come back from burying his son, managed to say playfully that he would have Lyman court-martialed for returning without orders.
The Appomattox campaign
opened in the spring, with the forces under Grant
numbering 113,000, while those under Lee
were only 49,000.1
The resources of the North
were unimpaired, those of the South
were rapidly vanishing.
On March 25, Lee
made an energetic but unsuccessful sortie.
On April 1, Sheridan
won a brilliant victory at Five Forks
followed this up by attacking all along the line the next day. The result of the engagement was that the Confederate Army was cut in halves, and Grant
established himself between the two parts.
's position was untenable; Richmond
were abandoned that night.
Retreat was still open toward the westward.
withdrew along the line of the Richmond and Danville railroad, hoping to join Johnston
, who was opposing Sherman
's advance from the south.
As a last resort, Lee
planned to retreat to the mountains of Virginia
, where he thought he might continue the war indefinitely.
The Union Army followed close on the heels of the retreating southerners.
The chase was continued for eighty miles. In the neighborhood of Appomattox Court House, the cavalry under Sheridan
got across the railroad in front of the enemy.
was unable to break through.
Hemmed in, with his men worn out and starved, Lee
surrendered the remnant of his army, less than 27,000 men,2
on April 9.
This virtually ended the war.]