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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 1181 Chapter LVIII. THE APPOMATTOX CAMPAIGN.

advanced in connection with some of the cavalry and drove the enemy from their position, when I again advanced in column and bivouacked outside the town. Colonel Dandy's (Third) brigade and one section of Elder's light battery were sent forward to the crossing of the Appomattox, and did not return to the command until the following morning. At Farmville Colonel Doubleday's brigade, Birney's division, Twenty-fifth Army Corps, was ordered to report to me for duty. At 5 a.m. April 8 I moved forward, General Turner's division in the advance, marching until midnight, when the command bivouacked about four miles from Appomattox Court-House, having marched about thirty-two miles. At 3 a.m. on the 9th the division moved forward in the advance; at daylight a short halt was made for coffee, when the cavalry becoming engaged we moved forward rapidly to their support, the last half mile being at double-quick, we arriving at the Lynchburg road just as the cavalry were retreating in confusion. By my directions Colonel Osborn, First Brigade, formed his command in line of battle on the right of the Lynchburg road with the greatest promptness, although broken up three times by the led horses of the cavalry, and, in pursuance of orders from the major-general commanding, advanced his line without supports and with both flanks exposed; his men went forward with the greatest enthusiasm, checking the enemy and forcing them back. In the meantime Colonel Dandy's (Third) Brigade and Colonel Fairchild's (Fourth) brigade were hurried forward and formed-the Third Brigade on the left of the First, and the Fourth en echelon in support of the First Brigade. The Eighth Maine, of the Fourth Brigade, was pushed forward on the right of the First Brigade, capturing one gun. At this time I experienced considerable inconvenience in consequence of the conflicting orders given to my artillery by the chief of artillery of the corps, he detaining Elder's battery, which I had ordered into a position, when it would have been of service to me had it got up in time. As my line advanced the enemy continued retiring. Receiving constant information that the enemy were moving to my left, I took the Fourth Brigade from the support of the First and put it on the left and gradually moved with my whole line in that direction, until just as I reached the Bent Creek road, I received information of a cessation of hostilities, which resulted in the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. Doubleday's brigade while moving in the rear of the column was attacked in flank and obliged to form a line of battle parallel with the road and drive the enemy back, which they did and joined the command near the Bent Creek road. Elder's battery was placed in position about half a mile from the Bent Creek road and fired a few shots at the retreating enemy.

I do not consider it egotistical to say, to this division is due the credit of preventing the enemy from gaining possession of the Lynchburg road (their only line of retreat), and of being among those who struck the last blow against the Army of Northern Virginia.

Too much cannot be said in praise of both officers and men of the division for the cheerfulness with which they have endured the fatigue attendant upon the long and rapid marches, and for the almost entire absence of stragglers from the command. All seemed to feel the importance of our movements, and to do their utmost to insure their success.

I have already forwarded the names of meritorious officers deserving promotion, but cannot close without again expressing my obligations to my brigade commanders for their prompt co-operation in all cases, and for the gallant conduct displayed by them in action.


Page 1181 Chapter LVIII. THE APPOMATTOX CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 1 (Appomattox Campaign)
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