Jetersville, on Richmond and Danville Railroad, April 4, 1865
Brevet Major-General MERRITT,
Commanding First and Third Cavalry Divisions:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that you push on rapidly with your command to this place (Jetersville). From the reports of prisoners and deserters we learn that the rebel army is in the vicinity of Amelia Court-House, with all their trains, &c., and that they are moving this way toward Burkeville Station. We have just captured telegraphic dispatches from the chief commissary of General Lee's army ordering up to Amelia Court-House 200,000 rations; also dispatches ordering up forage, &c., to the above-named place. General Mackenzie has been engaged with the enemy at Amelia Court-House during this afternoon. From all accounts the advance of the rebel army cannot be more than three or four miles from here now. Crook's division of cavalry is now going into position; also the First Division of the Fifth Army Corps. It is important that you should come on quickly. The enemy, it would appear, thought that our forces were following up Mackenzie, and have no idea up to the present time that we are here. Orders have been sent back to hurry up the Second Army Corps and the remaining divisions of the Fifth Army Corps.
JAS. W. FORSYTH,
Chief of Staff.
APRIL 4, 1865.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I am encamped to-night at Mr. Adams' house, near Beaver Pond Creek. I have sent you all the news I have. There is a large force in our front. General Mackenzie reports having engaged a very heavy force in his front at Five Forks, near Amelia Court-House. He finds both infantry, cavalry, and artillery. The enemy used artillery on us very freely. They expected a fight here to-day, thinking our infantry would be this way. I will press to the front to-morrow morning unless there are other orders. I am satisfied the enemy will leave our front as soon as they can get off. Some say they will go to Lynchburg, others toward Danville. We get plenty of forage, and are doing but poorly for rations.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Near Jeter's Station, Va., April 4, 1865-11 p.m.
(Received 11.30 p.m.)
Bvt. Major General W. MERRITT:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that you move your command rapidly to this place General Sheridan thinks the enemy are trying to hold your command whilst they are moving their trains in an opposite direction, toward Danville or Lynchburg. General Mackenzie is ordered to feel the enemy frequently and make con-