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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 1 (Appomattox Campaign)
Page 652 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

one, the road being on a ridge. As soon as the Third Division, Sixth Corps, could be formed on the ground I selected it charged in concert with the cavalry on its right and, with little or no opposition, carried the road in a southwesterly direction, but was soon checked by the enemy's making a stand on the east side of Little Sailor's Creek. After a brisk skirmish they retreated across the creek nd took up a position on the opposite bank. Here the Sixth Corps had the advantage of position, being on the higher ground. Their line (the enemy's) extended in a semicircular form, the convexity toward us, encircling the hillside upon which they had taken position, which was densely timbered, except one open space of about 100 yards width, across which their line was plainly visible, lying down. From our commanding position three or four batteries were brought to bear on this exposed position of their line, which was cut up terribly by our plunging fire of shell and case-shot. The leading division of the Sixth corps was formed for the charge at the border of the creek, crossed it in gallant style, but as they rose over the crest of a little hill were attacked in the center by the force of the enemy, said to be their Naval Brigade, which had been lying down in the open field. A regiment broke, and the center was thrown into temporary confusion, but soon rallied, the attacking party of the enemy falling back to their original position. After a little more fighting, not very severe, the enemy's force, under the command of General Ewell, being cut off by our cavalry force in the rear and confronted by the sixth and Second Corps, surrendered. The Sixth Corps headquarters were established for the night at the crossing of the road to Burke's Station with the road to Rice's Station., being a t a point about five miles from the latter. It is to be observed that the pursuit during the day was greatly facilitated by the state of the roads, which were, a s a general rule, in excellent condition; this I attribute to the rolling nature of the country, which was well drained by abrupt ravines, the roads being generally on the ridges.

At an early hour on the morning of the 7th I was sent forward to show the leading division the road to Farmville. The morning's march was greatly retarded by the trains of the other corps and the bad crossing at Sandy River. the Sixth Corps arrived at Farmville about 11 a. m., and was posted on the hill overlooking the town. I went down to the Appomattox and found the enemy had burned the railroad bridge as well as the plank road one, but the collyria nd calvary artillery were dressing by a good, or rather tolerable, ford a few hundred yards above the plank road. Soon after the cavalry and Second Corps became engaged with the enemy on the other side of the river, and, it appearing that the services of the Sixth Corps would be likely to be needed, I sent back to you for a bridge thin. In the meanwhile the corps headquarters were moved into the town; and being informed that the bridge train of the Army of the James was near at hand, I so informed General Wright, who so reported to General Grant, who directed it to be brought to the front. In the meanwhile Colonel Mundee, a pioneer officer of the Sixth Corps, reported that, in his opinion, the wreck of the plank-road bridge could soon be put in passable condition for infantry. The work was commenced by the pioneers, and about sunset the infantry began crossing at that point, and in the course of the evening he whole corps was camped on the other side. The bridge of the James, being in rear of the wagon trains, did not arrive until a late hour, but the bridge was thrown in sufficient time to admit of the march being again taken up in the morning.


Page 652 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 1 (Appomattox Campaign)
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