with the other corps assault the enemy's lines. The results of the offensive effort of the enemy the week before, when he assaulted Fort Stedman, particularly favored this. The enemy's intrenched picket-line captured by us at that time threw the lines occupied by the belligerents so close together at some points that it was but a moment run from one to the other. Preparations were at once made to relieve General Humphreys' corps to report to General Sheridan, but the condition of the roads prevented immediate movement. On the morning of the 31st General Warren reported favorably to getting possession of the White Oak road,and was directed to do so. To accomplish this,he moved with one division instead of his whole corps, which was attacked by the enemy in superior force and driven back on the Second Division before it had time to form, and it, in turn, forced back upon the Third Division, when the enemy was checked. A division of the Second Corps was immediately sent to his support, the enemy driven back with heavy loss, and possession of the White Oak road gained. Sheridan advanced, and with a portion of his cavalry got possession of them Five Forks, but the enemy, after the affair with the Fifth Corps, re-enforced the rebel cavalry defending that point with infantry, and forced him back toward Dinwiddie Court-House. Here General Sheridan displayed great generalship. Instead of retreating with his whole command on the main army, to tell the story of superior forces encountered, he deployed his cavalry on foot, leaving only mounted enough to take charge of the horses. This compelled the enemy to deeply over a vast extent of wooded and broken country,and made his progress slow. At this juncture he dispatched to me what had taken place, and that he was dropping back slowly on Dinwiddie Court-House. General Mackenzie's cavalry and one division of the Fifth Corps were immediately ordered to his assistance. Soon after, receiving a report from General Meade that Humphreys could hold our position on the Boydton road, and that the other two divisions of the Fifth Corps could go to Sheridan, they were so ordered at once. Thus the operations of the day necessitated the sending of Warren, because of his accessibility, instead of Humphreys, as was intended, and precipitated intended movements.
On the morning of the 1st of April General Sheridan, re-enforced by General Warren, drove the enemy back on Five Forks, where, late in the evening, he assaulted,and carried his strongly fortified position, capturing all his artillery and between 5,000 and 6,000 prisoners. About the close of this battle Bvt. Major General Charles Griffin relieved Major-General Warren in command of the Fifth Corps. The report of this reached me after night-fall. Some apprehensions filled my mind lest the enemy might desert his lines during the night, and by falling upon General Sheridan before assistance could reach him, drive him his position and open the way for retreat. To guard against this, General Miles's division of Humphrey's corps was sent to re-enforce him, and a bombardment was commenced and kept up until 4 o'clock in the morning (April 2), when an assault was ordered on the enemy's lines. General Wright penetrated the lines with his whole corps,evening everything before and to his left toward Hatcher's Run, capturing many guns and several thousand prisoners. He was closely followed by two divisions of General Ord's command, until he met the other division of General Ord's that had succeeded in forcing the