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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 1302 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

officer who came up the situation of things, and to urge the importance of his keeping sharp watch upon his left flank, as it was feared by the commanding general the enemy might tap the marching column coming down from the Amelia Springs and Jetersville road. I then road on the rejoin the greater part of my command en route toward Rice's Station, but was stopped after crossing Sailor's creek by the interposition of the enemy's calvary, who, coming from their position on the railroad in the vicinity of Jetersville, had seized the road upon which we were marching after the rear of Longstreet had passed long and previous to the arrival of the head of Ewell's command. I was detained there some time, hoping an attack would be made to reopened the way. The infantry were formed in line of battle at right angles to the road and facing the direction in which they were marching. An attack commenced, but was stopped, though the enemy were being rapidly driven from our font. In the meantime the enemy made his appearance in the rear of Ewell's column,necessitating the formation of another lien of battle on Sailor's Creek, the direction from which they had marched. The line of battle thus originally formed faced in opposite directions,and remained quietly in position until the Federal infantry re-enforced their large force of calvary, and with it had all most entirely surrender them. though portions of this force, particularly the command of General G. W. C. Lee, fought with a gallantry never surpassed, their defeat and surrender were reliable, after the dispositions of the enemy to effect it. I am clarely of the opinion (and I only express it because I was a witness of all that happened until just previous to the surrender) that had the troops been rapidly massed when their march was first interrupted, they could have cared the way and heed able to fall into line of battle on Longstreet's left, who was taking position at Rice's station, some few miles ahead; or had the heads of the column been returned obliquely off in a western direction, ore toward the road gorgon and the wagons were moving upon, an echelon formation add pate, the nature of the guard, wooded and much broken, would have kept the cavalry form harassing theme sufficiently to retard their progress until the arrival of their infantry. I rode out by that way with my staff and a fe w men just previous to Ewell's surrender, and found it so feasible that I immediately sent a staff officer back to Generals' Ewell and Anderson to retired to theme my convictions previously expressed, and nw so much strengthened by my own experience. The halt, allowing time for the accumulation of the enemy's troops, proved fatal. General Rosser, in command of his own, and my old division, under Munford, proceeded to Rice's Station, on the South 'side road, where learning that a force had been detached from the Federal left, confronting Longstreet at that point, to open on his rear, moved at once to contract their purpose. The enemy were overtaken and attacked on the road toward and in the vicinity of High Bridge. After a sharp encounter they were defeated, our forces capturing some 780 prisoners, and killing and owning a large number, including amongst the killed their commander, Brigadier-General Read, chief of staff to General Ord, commanding Army of the James, whose body fell into our hands. The enemy's force proved to be a picket body of infantry and a squadron of cavalry, which, placed under this staff officer, had for its object the destruction of the High Bridge over the Appomattox, in our rear. The success was indeed dearly bought, for the lives of Brigadier-General Dearing, of Rosser's division, Colonel Boston, firth Virginia Cavalry, commanidng Payne's bridge, of my old division, and Major James W. Thomas, Stuart Horse


Page 1302 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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