The following dispatch from Colonel Locke to General Webb, written 11 a. m. April 1, describes an achievement which deserves mention, and which seems alike indicative of the sinking spirits of the Confederates:
I have the honor to send the following report:
Captain B. C. Clement, with one sergeant and thirteen men of the Sixteenth North Carolina Cavalry, Roberts' brigade, Lee's division, have just been received. They were captured this morning by three men of the First Division sharpshooters, Major Jacklin commanding. These three ma went through the lines of the Second Corps to find the First Division (which had moved early this morning from its former position), and after passing around the picket-line of the Second Corps came upon these men in two squads and captured them. The names of the captors are W. M. Cronkite, A. McCrory, and William Stubel, all of the Sixteenth Michigan Veteran Volunteers detailed as sharpshooters. The horses of the prisoners were brought in with them. Our escort being short of horses they have been retained here. The prisoners will be sent up at once.
P. S.-General Warren being absent at the front, I send the above.
The battle of Five Forks, in the evening, was the last serious engagement of the Fifth Corps. I have made the report of this to Colonel Bowers, headquarters armies of the United States.*
The operations of my command, just recounted, were of a most wearying and sanguinary character. The order to move at 3 a. m. on March 29 was of the deepest moment to everyone. The arrangements to be made and the excitement of the hopes and fears of the campaign kept all from sleeping that night. We were moving during all the 29th, and the day closed with a sharp and successful engagement. The night brought rain, and much destroyed the opportunity of the men to rest. Continuous operations throughout the heavy rains of March 30 resulted in much extension of our lines, with new entrenchments to build, and closer contact with eh defenses into which the enemy was driven. Another rainy night, with the ground now soaking wet, allowed of little sleep, except to this overpowered with weariness. Movements early commenced on the morning of March 31 were succeeded by a fierce engagement and heavy losses, resulting in the defeat of the enemy and a still closer investor of his defenses, and the wresting from him of the use of the White Oak ridge. Disasters to our cavalry corps compelled my men to move to its succor during the night, many of them moving the whole night through. All this was done in a section of country quite new to us, where swamps and heavy forests abounded, and yet I can testify it was done as cheerfully and promptly as it was possible for us to do.
As usual we lost heavily in battle, but the enemy suffered more, and on every occasion the conflict closed with ourselves the masters of the field. The following is the aggregate loss from March 29 to 31, inclusive: Killed, 183; wounded, 1,206; missing, 492; aggregate, 1,881.
It is not in my powever to speak in adequate terms of those who did their duty. Many of them endeavor to recapitulate when I have finished all the detailed reports.
At present I will but make my acknowledgements of the faithful service of my command in general, and of my division commanders and staff officers, whose names, rank, and positions I have at the commencement of this report.
G. K. WARREN,
Late Major-General Volunteers, Commanding Fifth Army Corps.
*See p. 828.