War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0824 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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been too exhausted to reach the Five Forks that day. I therefore determined that it was absent to abide the movements already begun, and keep the two divisions-Griffin's and Crawford's-where they were, till I could hear that General Ayres had certainly re-enforced General Sheridan. The men of the two divisionis were gained, while waiting the result, a little of that rest they stood so much in need of on this their fought night of almost continual deprivation of it, and we had but a short distance to move before reaching the enemy near J. Boisseus's. Having determined this, at 1.20 a. m. I wrote the following dispatch to General Meade:

I think we will have an infantry bridge over Gravelly Run sooner than I could send troops around by the Quaker road, but if I find any failure I will send that way. I have sent Captain Benyaurd (two hours ago) with what he thought was necessary to make it practicable in one hour, and trust to that. I am sending to General Sheridan my most available force.

At 2.05 a. m. I learned the following, which I sent General Webb:

The bridge over Gravelly Run Captain Benyaurd reports now practicable for infantry, and General Ayres advancing across it toward Dinwiddie Court-House. I have given General Ayres orders to report to General Sheridan.

At 4.30 a. m. I received information that General Ayres had communicated with General Sheridan, and while I was just mounting to join Generals Griffin and Crawford, to move across the country against the enemy at J. Boisseau's, I received the following from General Sheridan at 4.50 a. m., which is published with his report, and there stated to be written at 3 a. m.:

I am holding in front of Dinwiddie Court-Housae, on the road leading to Five Forks, for three-fourths of a mile, with General Custer's division. The enemy are in his immediate front, lying so as to cover the road just this side of the Adams house, which leads across Chamberlain's run or bed. I understand you have a division at J. Boisseau's; if so, you are in rear of the enemy's line and almost on his flank. I will hold on here. Possibly they may attack Custer at daylight; if so, have this division attack instantly and in full force. Attack at daylight anyway, and I will make an effort to get the road this side of Adams' house, and if I do you can capture the whole of them. Any force moving down the road I am holding, or on the White Oak road, will be in the enemy's rear, and in all probability get any force that may escape you by a flank attack. Do not fear my leaving here. If the enemy remain I shall fight at daylight.

This suppositions state of affairs given above promised most brilliant results if true, but it was not. The enemy occupied the position at J. Boisseau's on the preceding night, and instead of my having a division there, the nearest to it I had was Bartlett's brigade, three-fourths of a mile north of Gravelly Run, the crossing of which the enemy guarded. Even this brigade of mine I had to withdraw, by General Meade's order, at 9.35 p. m. I fully expected, if the enemy had not retired, to have to fight a battle in order to get across Gravelly Run to J. Boisseau's, and if the enemy had designed to stay we undoubtedly must have done so. I so anticipated in my instructions to General Griffin, who, about 5 a. m., left his position near the enemy on the White Oak road and moved directly and rapidly across the country to Crump's. He found the enemy had left the crossing of the run open, and he moved on to J.; Boisseau's, meeting at the forks of the road our cavalry, under General Devin. At this point General Griffin reported to General Sheridan, as I had directed, should such a state of affairs as was found be developed. I remained with General Crawford's division, which we formed to retire in line of battle to meet the enemy should he pursue us from this breast-works, as I confidently expected he would