網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

enemy scattered through the woods. Among our killed or dangerously wounded were Captains GOODRICH, SKIFF, and FARLEE. WELLS pressed upon the fugitive enemy along the same road for some distance, and then rejoined the column on the other road. CAPEHART'S Third Brigade, meanwhile, took the road to the right of Namozine Church, pushed on rapidly towards Dennisville, crossing Deep Creek at the lower ford, the bridge having been destroyed. Immediately upon crossing, the brigade charged the enemy, and a running fight was kept up for miles, the enemy now balting, now flying, and delivering many a fatal Parthian shot in his flight. PENNINGTON's First Brigade was hurried up, as the enemy, driven into more compact form by our own pressure, began to resist with determination. The skirmishing and pursuit now continued with great zest, our men being in high spirits, and driving the enemy with all ease, killing and wounding many, and capturing small squads here and there continually. At length Bevil's ford was reached; but the bridge being down, the enemy struck off to the left, on a road leading towards a crossing, seven miles further up the river. PENNINGTON bere halted to gather up our men scattered in pursuit of fugitive prisoners, while CAPEHART went on after the enemy. The latter, it is said, had charge of a long wagon train, which impeded his progress, and forced him to fight briskly here and there. WELLS had now come across from the road on the left of Namozine Church, and his brigade was prompt in support of CAPEHART's pursuit. The enemy at length turned once more to the right, to cross the Appomattox, and rejoin LEE's main army on the other bank. At this turning, where roads crossed, the enemy's cavalry rallied, and a body of infantry appeared to their support. CAPEHART'S Brigade charged as before, but received a volley which checked them; and, immediately after, the enemy's

infantry, with all their old spirit, deployed in an open field on the left of his line, crossed our right flank, turned and enfiladed it. Our men retreated before the fire for half a mile, to where MCKENZIE's Division (KAUTZ's old Division) was now in line. LORD's Battery A, Second Artillery, opened briskly on the enemy, shelling the woods. He was checked, and our men soon resumed the pursuit. But night was now falling, and the whole column encamped. The enemy had been pursued full twenty miles, and about three hundred and fifty prisoners, two flags, four cannon, and several ammunition wagons were captured. Our loss was not more than sixty or eighty.

Early on Tuesday, the 4th, MCKENZIE's Division was in advance, the First Division next, and CUSTER's Division in the rear. Late in the afternoon, McKENZIE came upon the enemy, who appeared to be posted with both infantry and artillery in works about two miles from Bethany. Skirmishing began at once, and continued until dark, when our troops went into camp and waited for the rest of the column. But soon after eleven o'clock the same night, the cavalry were again aroused and started off, with CUSTER in advance, and marched all night. The advance, at six o'clock the next morning, reached Jettersville, and there found the whole Fifth Corps well entrenched across the Danville railroad. learned that LEE, in his retreat from Richmond, had got as far as Amelia Court House, while our forces bad siezed Burkesville, and were assembling at Jettersville. Burkesville is in Prince Edward County, the junction of the Richmond and Danville and the South Side railroads, fifty-two miles west of Petersburg. Jettersville is in Amelia County, on the Danville railroad, about half way between Burkesville and Amelia Court House, and fiftyfour miles southwest of Richmond. Amelia Court House

It was

now

is in the same county and on the same railroad, fortyseven miles southwest of Richmond.

On Wednesday, April 5th, CUSTER's Division was posted, with artillery, on the left of the Fifth Corps. The First Division and McKENZIE's Division then prolonged the line to the left. DAVIES' Brigade of CROOK's Division was sent by SHERIDAN, immediately on arriving, around on his left flank, towards Burkesville, to seize that important junction, to ascertain what was going on in that direction, and to disperse any enemy that might be found there.

DAVIES came upon the enemy's cavalry at Fame's Cross-roads, and, attacking him, captured several hundred prisoners, five new and very beautiful Armstrong guns and caissons, about two hundred wagons, mostly empty, and seven or eight battle flags. The enemy's infantry then came up to the support of his cavalry, and, rapidly forming, drove off DAVIES' gallant brigade. The wagons were burned, but the prisoners were brought to camp. Amongst our killed was Colonel JANEWAY. The skirmish was short and sharp. SHERIDAN, at three o'clock P. M., on hearing this news, and finding the condition of the enemy, sent the following remarkable despatch to General GRANT : SHERIDAN'S DESPATCH TO GRANT.

“JETTERSVILLE, April 5, 1865.—3 P. M. “ TO LIEUTENANT-GENERAI, U. S. GRANT :

GENERAL: I send you the enclosed letter, which will give you an idea of the condition of the enemy and their whereabouts. I sent General DAVIES' Brigade this morning, around on my left flank. He captured at Fame's Cross, five pieces of artillery, about two hundred wagons, and eight or nine battle flags, and a number of prisoners. The Second Army Corps is now coming up. I wish you were here yourself. I feel confident of capturing the Army of Northern Virginia if we exert ourselves. I see no escape for LEE. I will send all my cavalry out on our left flank, except MCKENZIE, who is now on the right.

(Signed) "P. H. SHERIDAN, Major-General.”

66

LETTER SENT BY SHERIDAN TO GRANT.

πο “AMELIA COURT-HOUSE, April 5, 1865. “ DEAR BRAMMIA :

:-Our army is ruined, I fear. We are all safe as yet. Theodore left us sick. John Taylor is well; saw him yesterday. We are in line of battle this evening. General Robert Lee is in the field near ns. My trust is still in the justice of our cause. General Hill is killed. I saw Murray a few moments since. Bernard Perry, he said, was taken prisoner, but may get out. I send this by a negro

I see passing up the railroad to Michlenburgh. Love to all. Your devoted son,

“W. B. TAYLOR, Colonel.Meanwhile, the Second Corps had come up, and went into position. SHERIDAN had written to GRANT, "I see no escape for LEE. I will put all my cavalry out on our left flank, except MCKENZIE, who is now on the right." This he proceeded to do. Slight skirmishing in the afternoon now foretold the attack of the morrow. But we must trace the progress of the infantry to the new field of battle.

The Fifth Corps started on the pursuit during the morning of Monday the 3d, soon after the cavalry, both corps apparently being under the command of SHERIDAN, for the purposes of this movement. At two o'clock, the corps had arrived in sight of the Appomatox. Thence it turned to the left, without crossing the river, along the Namozine road, behind the cavalry, marching through Amelia county and crossing Deep and Namozine creeks. The same evi. dences of the disorderly retreat already described were evident on every hand. Few people were to be seen, cept the contrabands, many of whom joined our column. The day's march was sixteen miles, and the blocking of the trains in the miry roads prevented it from being longer. The next day's, Tuesday's march, was like Monday's, except that it was twenty miles long, and its conclusion brought the corps to Jettersville, where it was massed in an open field, and lay across the railroad. Strong earthworks were at once thrown up, and, as the

ex

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

enemy was only from five to ten miles distant, great caution was used. No fires were lighted, and the corps lay ready for battle.

In the rear of the Fifth Corps marched the Second, whose progress, however, was not so much burried. In the rear of the Second was the Sixth. These two corps were directed by General MEADE, and were on the river or Namozine road. The Second Corps marched about six miles on the 3d, the protection of the trains, which went slowly, requiring tardy progress, and the troops were very hard at work in repairing the roads for the passage of the artillery trains. The scarcity of rations caused an amount of " foraging," which must have contrasted pleasantly with the old Peninsular campaign. Not a few prisoners were captured or surrendered along the line of march. At midnight the corps was again roused, and, after much delay, caused by the obstruction of the roads by trains, the column got off. A long march until two o'clock of the 4th, brought the corps to Jettersville. SHERIDAN immediately had the Second and Third Divisions posted on the left of the Fifth Corps, in the position from which he had now withdrawn the First and Third Divisions of cavalry. An attack from LEE was hourly apprehended, but none took place.

ORD's column of the Army of the James, comprising TURNER'S and FOSTER'S Divisions of the Twenty-fourth Corps and BIRNEY's Division of the Twenty-fifth, marched down the Cox road on the fourth, from Sutherland's station, ten miles west from Petersburg on the South Side road, where it separated from the main column. The Cox road is the direct road to Burkesville, along the South Side railroad Generals GRANT and ORD were both with this column. It encamped near Wilson's station that night, having marched along the railroad a distance of about fifteen miles. Next day, the fifth, it continued with TURNER'S Division in advance along the railroad as far as

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »