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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 1288 N. AND SE.VA.,N.C.,W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

that the enemy were advancing. I immediately ordered my command to advance and meet the enemy's attack. The movement was handsomely and gallantly made, and Brigadier-General McGowan, in advancing, moved on the enemy's flank, as proposed, for a preparatory movement. The enemy's line immediately gave way, and my command followed up their advantage in a most spirited manner. By 2 p.m. the enemy were driven about one mile and a half to a position west of a branch of Gravelly Run, which skirts the Boydton road in vicinity of the bridge on that road over the latter stream. In this position the enemy's line, in strong force, was formed on vantage ground. During this advance Wise's brigade was moved out on the left of Hunton's brigade, by order of General Lee, and gallantly participated in the fight; but encountering a superior force, and having its left flank exposed, its left was driven back. For the operations of Wise's brigade on this day you are referred to the report of the brigade commander. The next brigade on the right, that of General Hunton, repulsed [with the aid of the right of Wise's brigade] three charges by the enemy. The operations on the left of Hunton's brigade caused that brigade to close to the left, and Moody's brigade was compelled to extend both to the left and right, in order to cover the enemy's line in its front. Our troops persistently continued to fight, but were unable to advance, and orders were first sent to hold the position they had gained. It, however, became evident that our troops were being exhausted, and needed re-enforcements, of which there was none available. Lieutenant-General Anderson now ordered my command to be withdrawn to the enemy's line of rifle-pits, thrown up by his skirmishers south of the White Oak road during the previous night. This position was occupied by my command, save Wise's brigade, which retired into the breast-works when the enemy advanced in strong force and with great spirit. In occupying this line Moody's brigade was shifted by force of circumstances to the left of Hunton's brigade, and occupied an angle from which a connection was made with the regular rifle-pits for the skirmishers in front of our fortifications. The enemy's attack fell with force upon this angle, and carried it, and all our forces were then, at about 5 p.m., drawn into the main breast-works, where they lay during the night, with pickets well out on the White Oak road and to the right and left of it. The losses of the enemy were heavy, including about 470 prisoners. Our losses were about 800, including killed, wounded, and prisoners.

On Saturday morning, the 1st of April, the enemy disappeared from the vicinity of the White Oak road, and it was discovered that they had moved toward the right. At 4 p.m. heavy firing was heard in the vicinity of Five Forks. At 5.45 I received orders from Lieutenant-General Anderson to move with Wise's, Moody's, and Hunton's brigades to Church Crossing, on the South Side Railroad, and at 6.30 p.m. was in motion. At 2 a.m. on the 2nd of April we arrived at the crossing. Heavy artillery firing was heard all night in direction of Petersburg. About 12 m. we moved from the crossing on Church [or Ford's] road toward Namozine bridge. At 3 p.m. reached Namozine road; cavalry skirmishing all the way in our rear. By 11 a.m. we learned that the lines at Petersburg had been broken, and that the enemy's cavalry, pressing toward South Side Railroad, had reached it at Jarratt's Station. Between 5 and 6 p.m. Major-General Fitzhugh Lee, commanding cavalry, in my rear, requested me to form my command to meet the enemy, who were heavily pressing him. A handsome line was formed, and hasty barricades of rails were thrown up on the high


Page 1288 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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