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Appendix to Chapter XXXII.

Lieutenant-General Grant to Major-generals Meade, Ord, and Sheridan.

City Point, Virginia, March 24, 1865.
General: On the 29th instant the armies operating against Richmond will be moved by our left, for the double purpose of turning the enemy out of his present position around Petersburg, and to ensure the success of the cavalry under General Sheridan, which will start at the same time, in its efforts to reach and destroy the Southside and Danville railroads. Two corps of the army of the Potomac will be moved first, in two columns, taking the two roads crossing Hatcher's run nearest where the present line held by us strikes that stream, both moving towards Dinwiddie court-house.

The cavalry, under General Sheridan, joined by the division now under General Davies, will move at the same time, by the Weldon road and the Jerusalem plank-road, turning west from the latter before crossing the Nottoway, and west with the whole column before reaching Stony creek. General Sheridan will then move independently under other instructions, which will be given him. All dismounted cavalry belonging to the army of the Potomac, and the dismounted cavalry from the Middle Military Division not required for guarding property belonging to their arm of service, will report to Brigadier-General Benham, to be added to the defences of City Point. Major-General Parke will be left in command of all the army left for holding the lines about Petersburg and City Point, subject, of course, to orders from the commander of the army of the Potomac. The Ninth army corps will be left intact to hold the present line of works, so long as the whole line now occupied [684] by us is held. If, however, the troops to the left of the Ninth corps are withdrawn, then the left of the corps may be thrown back so as to occupy the position held by the army prior to the capture of the Weldon road. All troops to the left of the Ninth corps will be held in readiness to move at the shortest notice by such route as is designated when the order is given.

General Ord will detach three divisions, two white, and one colored, or so much of them as he can, and hold his present lines, and march, for the present, left of the army of the Potomac. In the absence of further orders, or until further orders are given, the white divisions will follow the left column of the army of the Potomac, and the colored division the right column. During the movement, Major-General Weitzel will be left in command of all the forces remaining behind from the army of the James.

The movement of troops from the army of the James will commence on the night of the 27th instant. General Ord will leave behind the minimum number of cavalry necessary for picket duty in the absence of the main army. A cavalry expedition from General Ord's command will also be started from Suffolk, to leave there on Saturday, the 1st of April, under Colonel Sumner, for the purpose of cutting the railroad about Hicksford. This, if accomplished, will have to be a surprise, and therefore from three to five hundred men will be sufficient. They should, however, be supported by all the infantry that can be spared from Norfolk and Portsmouth, as far out as to where the cavalry crosses the Blackwater. The crossing should probably be at Uniten. Should Colonel Sumner succeed in reaching the Weldon road, he will be instructed to do all the damage possible to the triangle of roads between Hicksford, Weldon, and Gaston. The railroad bridge at Weldon being fitted up for the passage of carriages, it might be practicable to destroy any accumulation of supplies the enemy may have collected south of the Roanoke. All the troops will move with four days rations in haversacks, and eight days in wagons. To avoid as much hauling as possible, and to give the army of the James the same number of days' supplies with the army of the Potomac, General Ord will direct his commissary and quartermaster to have sufficient supplies delivered at the terminus of the road to fill up in passing. Sixty rounds of ammunition per man will be taken in wagons, and as much grain as the transportation on hand will carry, after taking the specified amount of other supplies. The densely wooded country in which the army has to operate making the use of much artillery impracticable, [685] the amount taken with the army will be reduced to six or eight guns to each division, at the option of the army commanders.

All necessary preparations for carrying these directions into operation may be commenced at once. The reserves of the Ninth corps should be massed as much as possible. Whilst I would not now order an unconditional attack on the enemy's line by them, they should be ready, and should make the attack, if the enemy weakens his line in their front, without waiting for orders. In case they carry the line, then the whole of the Ninth corps could follow up so as to join or co-operate with the balance of the army. To prepare for this, the Ninth corps will have rations issued to them the same as to the balance of the army. General Weitzel will keep vigilant watch upon his front, and if found at all practicable to break through at any point, he will do so. A success north of the James should be followed up with great promptness. An attack will not be feasible unless it is found that the enemy has detached largely. In that case, it may be regarded as evident that the enemy are relying upon their local reserves, principally, for the defence of Richmond. Preparations may be made for abandoning all the line north of the James, except enclosed works; only to be abandoned, however, after a break is made in the lines of the enemy.

By these instructions, a large part of the armies operating against Richmond is left behind. The enemy, knowing this, may, as an only chance, strip their lines to the merest skeleton, in the hope of advantage not being taken of it, whilst they hurl everything against the moving column, and return. It cannot be impressed too strongly upon commanders of troops left in the trenches, not to allow this to occur without taking advantage of it. The very fact of the enemy coming out to attack, if he does so, might be regarded as conclusive evidence of such a weakening of his lines. I would have it particularly enjoined upon corps commanders, that in case of an attack from the enemy, those not attacked are not to wait for orders from the commanding officer of the army to which they belong, but that they will move promptly, and notify the commander of their action. I wish, also, to enjoin the same action on the part of division commanders, when other parts of their corps are engaged. In like manner, I would urge the importance of following up a repulse of the enemy.

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. Major-Generals Meade, Ord, and Sheridan.


Statement showing the strength of the forces, under General Grant, operating against Richmond, Va., from March, 1864, to April, 1865, inclusive.

month.Armies.present.present for duty Equiiped.
commissioned officers.Enlisted men.
For Duty.Extra or Daily Duty.Sick.In Arrest.Total.For Duty.Extra or Daily Duty.Sick.In Arrest or Confinement.Total.Aggregate.Cavalry.Artillery.Infantry.Total.
1864. MarchArmy of the Potomac.3,789683164524,68887,62914,4944,165841107,129111,81710,5926,30169,17986,072
April 30.Army of the Potomac.4.741753177765,74799,04814,9684,045794118,855124,60212,8647,78076,62997,273
April 30.Army of the James.1,4691446391,68535,6992,4572,79820141,15542,8402,9011,52226,65881,081
April 30.Ninth Corps.8425617892318,4081,34257012420,44421,3671,8121,05019,84622,708
May.Army of the Potomac.4,919798144635,924102,51417,7993,069314123,696129,620ZZZ*
May.Army of the James.74710556891617,4061,7151,3224520,48821,4043,0011,15818,89328,052
June.Army of the Potomac.4,069889225715,25482,54119,6704,737276107,224112,47812,4486,28160,82579,554
June.Army of the James.1,167107126111,41127,2072.9153,0585233,23234,6431,5961,72424,54527,865
July.Army of the Potomac.2,664711805533,73349,39714,0835,50824969,23772,9706,3236,82637,38350,532
July.Army of the James.1,185174188181,56527,4173,1954,51810535,23536,8002,2362,12622,42726,789
Aug.Army of the Potomac.2,161739210503,16042,70714,2464,45628761,69664,8563,9984,92928,90037,827
Aug.Army of the James.897155124211,19721,2342,4852,8579826,67427,8711,8292,27116,99621,096


Sept.Army of the Potomac.2,281673125493,12853,97312,3144,14631770,75073,8785,0296,45839,51551,002
Sept.Army of the James8339767121,00921,8711,9721,9026725,81226,8211,7702,40021,60325,773
Oct.Army of the Potomac.2,394579109473,12961,13611,9974,29041077,83380,9623,9155,33247,82957,076
Oct.Army of the James91911555161,10528,7112,2542,07913833,18234,2872,3802,17623,41427,970
Nov.Army of the Potomac.2,71555699563,42661,83411,2314,75438778,20681,6326,3535,51945,68557,557
Nov.Army of the James1,01112563231,22230,5192,2872,21813535,15936,3812,2012,44524,52029,166
Dec.Army of the Potomac.3,550786136694,54180,27614,4345,392448100,550105,0916,6146,61060,93874,162
Dec.Army of the James1,22918679181,51236,0943,2422,75821342,30743,8193,3602,97229,87036,202
1865. Jan.Army of the Potomac.3,489825119594,49282,82114,7675,405438103,431107,9236,9847,95765,47280,413
Jan.Army of the James1,24616870211,50535,4782,8023,30518041,76543,2703,4692,80330,36836,640
Feb.Army of the Potomac.3,655804121574,63783,82314,2285,177547103,775108,4126,9067,18266,59580,683
Feb.Army of the James1,21917759141,46934,7302,3891,93914639,20440,6732,9582,38430,48635,828
MarchArmy of the Potomac.3,649800119614,62981,24614,0114,20942599,891104,5208665,86263,02369,751
MarchArmy of the James1,0221091911,15128,5381,7837533731,11132,2622,1762,50023,02527,701
MarchGen. Sheridan's Caval'y61715181579113,4443,9372524817,68118,47213,59513,595
AprilArmy of the Potomac.3,09061376783,85764,61511,4933,37441479,89683,7531,3764,10052,02457,500
AprilArmy of the James1,26313750121,46233,7932,3661,19913137,48938,9512,1962,37326,81231,381
AprilGen. Sheridan's Caval'y620149101579410,6096,2891974117,13617,93010,75810,758

*No bi-monthly returns of the army of the Potomac were furnished from May 10 to June 20; therefore, the “present for duty equipped” cannot be given.

Adjutant-General's office; Washington, D. C., November 11, 1871. E. D. Townsend, Adjutant-General. [688]

Field return of army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee.

command.present.absent.Aggregate Present and Absent.Aggregate Present Last Return.
for duty.sick.extra C. S. hands of enemy.
Generals.Lieutenant-Generals.Major-Generals.Brigadier-Generals.A. A. Generals.A. I. Generals.Quartemasters.Commiisaries.Chief Surgeons.Ordnance Officers.Engineer Officers.Signal Officers.Aides-de-Camp.Officers.Enlisted MenOfficers.Enlisted Men.Officers.Enlisted Men.Officers.Enlisted Men.Officers.Enlisted Men.Aggregate.Officers.Enlisted Men.Officers.Enlisted Men.
General Staff1331111112121212
Lt-General J. Longstreet commanding.
Pickett's Divisi'n13419612133044,7611840012895151218806,1776,5571032,0311016509,4426,520
Field's Divisi'n251145423414,436272722455814274395,2935,7323024,079721,32311,5085,797
Kershaw's Divisi'n123212514312062,96714227255867552863,8354,1212163,1361001,6069,1794,178
Maj-General J. B. Gordon commanding.
Gordon's Div121951311261432,30928440183006582273,1073,3342665,3903704,16013,5203,372
Rodes's Div24951221863,0222649235700101002824,3144,5961683,3891773,84612,1764,445
Early's Div2426411121292,2929287193555771853,0113,196872,2521652,3108,0102,991
Lt-General A. P. Hill commanding
Mahone's Div2314613232623,88053651305877343865,1525,5382944,8751581,98912,8545,489
Heth's Div132113714262944,32434508831310313875,1765,5622093,5402032,33811,8525,543
Wileox's Div4321253143095,88334544540615393976,8726,7691792,591921,78011,4116,822


Lt.-Gen. R. H. Anderson, Johnson's Division125118715364316,505172642149015595287,3187,8462103,343521,19112,642
Lt.-General J. A. Early commanding.
Wharton's Div13143112681,11217012264239991,4851,5841943,3061041,5476,7351,528
Long's Artillery114113120368111432334244572584731001,432743
Lomax Cav. Div223451211541,38364571561091971,5931,7901923,6311001,4377,1501,988
Maj.-Gen. W. H. F. Lee's Division13433311331853,93518323125895562454,9035,1481303,377455999,2995,107
Maj.-Gen. Fitz Lee's Division1222631232961,8256163123518141462,3532,4992715,348351,2939,4462,519
Br.-Gen. J. A Walker, Defences R. & D. R. R.111311111041,41451184382541251,6241,749371,4833,269
Unattached Commands4250428525110466506961832261,042
Br.-Gen. W. N. Pendleton commanding.
1st Corps Artill1311772,0893541816872,3112,398357246993,262
3d Corps Artill2431011,86216831751171152,1222,237451,000623,344
Anderson's Artill231661,1961271141222761,3861,46234966122782,752
Grand total187356029150772257834035351955,57530050302557179134830473568,61473,349302155,630179726,614160,41157,094

station: Petersburg, Va.
date:February 20, 1865.

Respectfully submitted.
(Signed) W. H. Taylor,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Respectfully submitted.

The Commanding General is in Richmond. (In W. H. Taylor's writing.) [690]

General Sheridan to General Grant.

Headquarters, cavalry, Dinwiddie court-House, March 31, 1865.
Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, commanding Armies United States:
General: The enemy attacked me about ten o'clock A. M. to-day on the road coming in from the west of Dinwiddie court-house. This attack was very handsomely repulsed by General Smith's brigade of Crook's division, and the enemy was driven across Chamberlain's creek. Shortly afterwards the enemy's infantry attacked on the same creek in heavy force, and drove in General Davies' brigade, and, advancing rapidly, gained the forks of the road at J. Boisseau's. This forced Devin—who was in advance—and Davies to cross the Boydton road. General Gregg's brigade and General Gibbes's brigade, which were towards Dinwiddie, then attacked the enemy in rear very handsomely: this stopped his march towards the left of our infantry, and finally caused him to turn towards Dinwiddie and attack us in heavy force. The enemy then again attacked at Chamberlain's creek and forced General Smith's position. At this time Capehart's and Pennington's brigades of Custer's division came up, and a very handsome fight occurred.

The enemy have gained some ground; but we still hold in front of Dinwiddie court-house, and Davies and Devin are coming down the Boydton plank-road to join us.

The opposing force was Pickett's division, Wise's independent brigade, and Fitz Lee's, Rosser's, and W. H. F. Lee's cavalry commands.

The men have behaved splendidly. Our loss in killed and wounded will probably number four hundred and fifty men; very few men were lost as prisoners. We have of the enemy a number of prisoners.

This force is too strong for us. I will hold on to Dinwiddie courthouse until I am compelled to leave. We have also some prisoners from Johnson's division. Our fighting to-day was all dismounted.

P. H. Sheridan, Major-General.

Official statement of the effective force of the cavalry under the command of Major-General Sheridan in the operations of Dinwiddie court-house, Virginia, March 31, 1865, and Five Forks, Virginia, April 1, 1865.

March 27, 1865.—General Merritt's command, Devin's First and Custer's Third cavalry divisions5,700
General Crook's command, Second cavalry division8,300
March 31, 1865.—Total effective force [Authority: General Sheridan's official report, based on returns of effective force as reported by the commanding officers named.]9,000


Deduct losses at Dinwiddie court-house, March 31, 1865 [Authority: General Sheridan's report.]450
April 1, 1865.—Effective cavalry force prior to Mackenzie's arrival8,550
Strength of Mackenzie's cavalry brigade, army of the James [Mackenzie's report]1,682
April 1, 1865—Total effective force of all the cavalry10,2821
Crook's strength, March 81st (morning)3,300
Crook's loss at Dinwiddie court-house, say250
Crook's strength April 1, 1865 (morning)3,050
From total effective April 1, 1865 =10,232
Take Crook's strength April 1, 18653,050
Total cavalry [Merritt's and Mackenzie's] engaged at Five Forks7,182

Headquarters, military division of the Missouri, Chicago, Illinois, November 26, 1880.
I certify that the numbers given as the strength of the commands in the above statement—except the estimated loss of Crook's command at Dinwiddie court-house—are all taken from official reports now on. file at these Headquarters.

George A. Forsyth, Lieutenant—Colonel, Aide-de—Camp.

With reference to this statement I refer the reader to my remarks in Appendix to Chapter XXV. I have no doubt that all the deductions claimed could be legitimately made; but I have adopted the rule of accepting the official returns of effective strength made to an adjutant-general, whether by rebel or national officers, and am obliged to abide by it in this instance, as in all others. It will not be found to act unfairly, as I decline to depreciate the numbers reported by the enemy as well as those of the national forces.—--Author.

1 This includes Crook's command, no portion of which was engaged at Five Forks, that entire command being south of Dinwiddie court-house and Stony creek, about four miles from the battle-field.

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