changed. The First Division engaged and pushed the enemy back from the heights beyond the Springs and toward Deatonsville. The Third took position a strong position, with slight breast-works, covering the village, but, owing to our numerical superiority, they were soon driven out and retreated on the road to Sailor's Creek, a distance of about two miles, where they again made a stand, covering the cross-roads at that point. Here they were sharply pressed by the Second Corps while the Sixth Corps and cavalry came in on their flank and compelled a precipitate retreat. At this point their force was divided, a portion retreating on the road to the Appomattox, and another portion toward Rice's Station, followed by the Sixth Corps. The Second Corps pursued to the right, breaking connection with the Sixth. Half a mile from Sailor's Creek the rear guard was found entrenched, covering the crossing. This line was assaulted and carried, the enemy retreating across the creek and holding the crest of the hills on the opposite side. A portion of the corps was pushed across, but, owing to the darkness, the pursuit was discontinued for the night. The stream at this place was about twenty feet in width and from two to three feet in depth, impassable for artillery and trains, except over a narrow, rickety bridge; it was bordered on either side by a soft bottom land about 100 yards in width, with a hilly, open country gradually rising beyond.
Early on the morning of the 7th the pursuit was resumed, the Secretary Corps moving out three miles on the road toward Rice's Station, and then across the country to the right, striking the Appomattox at High Bridge without meeting with opposition. The road bridge at this point was saved, and troops immediately crossed to the opposite side, which, after a brisk skirmish in the bottom land with the enemy's rear guard, we held, the enemy not attempting to hold the redoubts near the end of the railroad bridge. The corps was then rapidly pushed forward up the railroad for a distance of two miles. From this point the Second Division continued along the railroad toward Farmville, while the First and Third Division moved to the right to strike the stage road from Cumberland Court-House about five miles from the Appomattox. At this time I was sent by General Humphreys to communicate with General Meade. On my return I followed the Second Division and found it occupying the stage and plank roads opposite Farmville. The enemy held a line about two miles from the river, covering both of these roads, their left covering the road from Jamestown. The Second was shortly after withdrawn and ordered to support the other two division, which were at the time attempting to force the enemy's left. Our assaults were made over an open field, with the enemy entrenched, and were unsuccessful. The rebels held their position until late in the evening. On the 8th the pursuit was continued to a point on the stage road to Appomattox Court-House six miles beyond New Store, without meeting opposition. On the 9th the advance, about 12 m., reached the enemy's line near Appomattox Court-House, and was there stopped by the negotiations for surrender.
My duties during the pursuit were confined to getting information of the country and occasionally acting as an aide-de-camp. Although the roads were in very bad condition the rapidity of our movements precluded all attempts to make more than temporary repairs of the worst places. Without an enlarged and better organized corps of pioneers we will always be embarrassed by long and rapid marches in a country such as this. I would respectfully suggest that a battalion of 600 men, with an engineer organization for each division, would not be too great,
42 R R-VOL XLVI, PT I