War of the Rebellion: Serial 072 Page 0047 Chapter L. GENERAL REPORTS.

Search Civil War Official Records

Farmville, which it heroically attacked and detained until General Read was killed and his small force overpowered. This caused a delay in the enemy's movements, and enabled General Ord to get well up with the remainder of his force, on meeting which the enemy immediately intrenched himself. In the afternoon General Sheridan struck the enemy south of Sailor's Creek, captured 16 pieces of artillery, and about 400 wagons, and detained him until the Sixth Corps got up, when a general attack of infantry and cavalry was made, which resulted in the capture of 6,000 or 7,000 prisoners, among when were many general officers. The movements of the Second Corps and General Ord's command contributed greatly to the day's success. On the morning of the 7th the pursuit was renewed, the cavalry, except one division, and the Fifth Corps moving by Prince Edward Court-House; the Sixth Corps, General Ord's command, and one division of cavalry, on Farmville, and the Second Corps by the High Bridge road. It was soon found that the enemy had crossed to the north side of the Appomattox; but so close was the pursuit that the Second Corps got possession of the common bridge at High Bridge before the enemy could destroy it,and immediately crossed over. The Sixth Corps and a division of cavalry crossed at Farmville to its support.

Feeling now that General Lee's chance of escape was utterly hopeless, I addressed him the following communication from Farmville:

APRIL 7, 1865.

General R. E. LEE:

GENERAL: The result of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia in this struggle. I feel that it is so, and regard it as my duty to shift from myself the responsibility of any further effusion of blood, by asking of you the surrender of that portion of the C. S.army known as the Army of Northern Virginia.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Early on the morning of the 8th,before leaving, I received at Farmville the following:

APRIL 7, 1865.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT:

GENERAL: I have received your note of this date. Though not entertaining the opinion you express on the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia, I reciprocate your desire to avoid useless effusion of blood, and therefore, before considering your proposition, ask the terms you will offer on condition of its surrender.

R. E. LEE,

General.

To this I immediately replied:

APRIL 8, 1865.

General R. E. LEE:

GENERAL: Your note of last evening, in reply to mine of same date, asking the condition on which I will accept the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, is just received. In reply I would say that, peace being my great desire, there is but one condition I would insist upon, namely, that the men and officers surrendered shall be disqualified for taking up arms again against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged. I will met you,or will designate officers to meet any officers you may name for the same purpose, at any point agreeable to you, for the purpose of arranging definitely the terms upon which the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia will be received.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Early on the morning of the 8th the pursuit was resumed. General Meade followed north of the Appomattox, and General Sheridan, with all the cavalry, pushed straight for Appomattox Station,