eHistory logo Primary Sources Section
Primary Sources Home | Search eHistory

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume XLVI | Pages range from 1 to 1348

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 1 (Appomattox Campaign)
Page 1299 Chapter LVIII. THE APPOMATTOX CAMPAIGN.

River, marched to Petersburg and up the South Side Railroad, reaching Sutherland's Station, nineteen miles from Petersburg, on the 29th. In compliance with verbal instructions received from you, I marched the next day [30th] toward Dinwiddie Court-House, via Five Forks, to watch and counteract the operations threatened by the massing of the Federal cavalry at Dinwiddie Court-House under Sheridan. After passing Five Forks a portion of the enemy's cavalry were encountered with success, and driven back upon their large reserves near the Court-House. Night put an end to further operations, and my division was encamped in the vicinity of Five Forks. My loss, though slight, included Brigadier General W. H. Payne among the wounded; and the loss of the services of this bold, capable officer was severely felt in all subsequent movements. I was joined during the evening by the divisions of Major Gens. W. H. F. Lee and Rosser, and, by order of the commanding general, took command of the Cavalry Corps.

On the 31st of March, Pickett coming up with five small brigades of infantry, we attacked the very large force of the enemy's cavalry in our front at Five Forks, killed and wounded many, captured over 100 prisoners, and drove them to within half a mile of Dinwiddie Court-House. Munford, in command of my old division, held our lines in front of the enemy's position, whilst the remaining two divisions of cavalry, preceding the infantry, moved by a concealed wooded road to turn and attack their flank. A short stream, strongly defended at its crossing, presented an unexpected obstacle to the sudden attack contemplated. It was finally carried, however, with loss in W. H. F. Lee's and Rosser's divisions. Munford, attacking about the same time, also successfully carried the temporary works thrown up in his front, and by a gallant advance again united his command with the other divisions. Darkness put an end to our farther advance. Amongst the wounded were numbered Major-General Rosser, slightly, Captain Dawson, my very efficient and gallant chief of ordnance, severely, and Lieutenant-Colonel Feild, Third Virginia Cavalry; Lieutenant Croxton, Fourth Virginia, was killed, and a number of others whose names I have not been able to obtain.

Our position in the vicinity of Dinwiddie Court-House brought us in rear of the left of the infantry confronting the right of our line of battle at Burgess' Mills, and ascertaining during the night that that force, consisting of the Fifth Corps, had about faced and was marching to the support of Sheridan and his discomfited cavalry, which would have brought them directly upon our left flank, at daylight on the 1st we commenced moving back to our former position at Five Forks, where Pickett placed his infantry in line of battle. W. H. F. Lee was on his right, one regiment of Munford's command on his left, uniting with the pickets of General Roberts' command, who filled the gap between our position and the right of our main army, then at Burgess' Mills. Rosser was placed just in rear of the center as a reserve, Hatcher's Run intervening between him and our line. Everything continued quiet until about 3 p.m., when reports reached me of a large body of infantry marching around and menacing our left flank. I ordered Munford to go in person, ascertain the exact condition of affairs, hold his command in readiness, and if necessary order it up at once. He soon sent for it, and it reached its position just in time to receive the attack. A division of two small brigades of cavalry was not able force soon crushed in Pickett's left flank, swept it away, and before Rosser could cross Hatcher's Run the position at the Forks was seized and held and an


Page 1299 Chapter LVIII. THE APPOMATTOX CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 1 (Appomattox Campaign)
Index | Previous | Next
This symbol external link icon indicates an external link
All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved. [citation and copyright information]
eHistory icon