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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 1132 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XVIII.

running fight then ensued on both roads, the enemy being driven at the gallop before a vastly inferior force. Prisoners, guns, and battle-flags were captured all along the line of retreat. After crossing Sweat House Creek the enemy were re-enforced by six brigades of infantry. Here a desperate struggle took place, which gave a temporary check to our farther advance. As soon as the brigade in rear had reached the ground another advance was ordered, but the enemy had not waited to receive it. It was found impossible to again overtake him that day. The command encamped on Sweat House Creek. From this point we marched to Jetersville, on the Danville railroad, reaching the latter point at 7 a.m. of the 5th. Leaving Jetersville at 6 a.m. of the 6th we marched to Harper's farm, on Sailor's Creek, where we charged and routed the forces guarding the enemy's wagon train, capturing over 300 wagons. While engaged in securing and destroying this train two divisions of rebel infantry, commanded by Generals Kershaw and Custis Lee, the whole under command of Lieutenant-General Ewell, attacked my command with a view to recapturing their train. After a severe engagement, during which my command was several times driven back, the enemy's line of battle was broken by a charge of the Third Brigade, supported by a portion of the First. The enemy was driven form his breast-works in great confusion. Thousands of his men were captured on the spot, others surrendered after a short pursuit. Besides these advantages already gained we secured a strong position in rear of that of the enemy's force enagaging the Sixth Corps, which eventually compelled the surrender of the entire force of the enemy engaged on that part of the field. Lieutenant-General Ewell and six other general officers were captured at this point by my command. In addition, we captured 15 pieces of artillery and 31 battle-flags. After the pursuit had ended my division encamped upon the battle-field.

From Sailor's Creek we moved, on the 7th and 8th, without opposition until we reached Appomattox Station, where we surprised the enemy and captured three large trains of cars loaded with rations for the rebel army. The locomotives being in good running order the trains, with their contents, were run back to a point of safety, in the direction of Farmville. Learning that the enemy was moving a large train upon the road from Appomattox Court-House across the Lynchburg railroad I ordered the entire division forward to attack. The train was found to be guarded by about two divisions of infantry, in addition to over thirty pieces of artillery, all under command of Major-General Walker. Most of the enemy's guard were placed in position and their fire concentrated upon the road over which it was necessary for me to advance. The enemy succeeded in repulsing nearly all our attacks, until nearly 9 o'clock at night, when by a general advance along my line he was forced from his position and compelled to abandon to our hands twenty-four pieces of artillery all his trains, several battle-flags, and a large number of prisoners. Our loss was slight. Our advance reached Appomattox Court-House that night and charged into the camp of the rebel army.

The following morning my command was moved toward Appomattox Court-House, about which point the entire rebel army was massed. Moving at a rapid gait and under a heavy artillery fire I placed my command upon the extreme right of our army, which was then moving to the attack of the enemy's position. Driving back his skirmishers, we had almost gained possession of his trains, when a staff officer of General Longstreet came galloping into our lines under


Page 1132 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 1 (Appomattox Campaign)
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