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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 1109 Chapter LVIII. THE APPOMATTOX CAMPAIGN.

On the 7th instant the pursuit was continued early in the morning by the cavalry, General Crook in the advance. It was discovered that the enemy had not been cut off by the Army of the James, and, under the belief that he would attempt to escape on the Danville road through Prince Edward Court-House, General Merritt was ordered to move his two divisions to that point, passing around the left of the Army of the James. General Crook continued the direct pursuit, encountering the main body of the enemy at Farmville and again on the north side of the Appomattox, where the enemy's trains were attacked by General Gregg, and a sharp fight with the enemy's infantry ensued, in which General Gregg was unfortunately captured. On arriving at Prince Edward Court-House I found General Mackenzie, with his division of cavalry from the Army of the James, and ordered him to cross the bridge on the Buffalo River, and make a reconnaissance to Prospect Station on the Lynchburg railroad, and ascertain if the enemy were moving past that point. Meantime I heard from General Crook that the enemy had crossed to the north side of the Appomattox, and General Merritt was then moved on and encamped at Buffalo Creek, and General Crook was ordered to recross the Appomattox and encamp at Prospect Station.

On the morning of the 8th Merritt and Mackenzie continued the march to Prospect Station, and Merritt's and Crook's commands then moved on to Appomattox Depot, a point on the Lynchburg railroad five miles south of Appomattox Court-House. Shortly after the march commenced, Sergeant White, one of my scouts, notified me that there were four trains of cars at Appomattox Depot loaded with supplies for General Lee's army. Generals Merritt and Crook were at once notified, and the command pushed on briskly for twenty-eight miles. General Custer had the advance, and, on nearing the depot, skillfully threw a force in rear of the trains and captured them. Without halting a moment he pushed on, driving the enemy (who had reached the depot about the same time as our cavalry) in the direction of Appomattox Court-House, capturing many prisoners and twenty-five pieces of artillery, a hospital train, and a large park of wagons. General Devin coming up went in on the right of Custer. The fighting continued till after dark, and the enemy being driven to Appomattox Court-House I at once notified the lieutenant-general, and sent word to Generals Ord and Gibbon, of the Army of the James, and General Griffin, commanding the Fifth Corps, who were in rear, that if they pressed on, there was now no means of escape for the enemy, who had reached "the last ditch."

During the night, although we knew that the remnant of Lee's army was in our front, we held fast with the cavalry to what we had gained, and ran the captured trains back along the railroad to a point where they would be protected by our infantry that was coming up.

The Twenty-fourth and Fifth Corps and one division of the Twenty-fifth Corps arrived about daylight on the 9th at Appomattox Depot. After consulting with General Ord, who was in command of these corps, I rode to the front, near Appomattox Court-House, and just as the enemy in heavy force was attacking the cavalry with the intention of breaking through our lines, I directed the cavalry, which was dismounted, to fall back gradually, resisting the enemy, so as to give time for the infantry to form its lines and march to the attack, and when this was done to move off to the right flank and mount. This was done, and the enemy discontinued his attack as soon as he caught sight of our infantry. I moved briskly around the left of the enemy's line of battle, which was falling back rapidly, heavily pressed by the advance of the


Page 1109 Chapter LVIII. THE APPOMATTOX CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 1 (Appomattox Campaign)
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