War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0829 Chapter LVIII. THE APPOMATTOX CAMPAIGN.

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mand at that time acceptable. The surrender, however, of all the organized troops of the enemy in the limits of my new command took place while on my way to it, and my military operations there were confined to capturing the few still defiant fugitives on their way to Texas and Mexico. The war being closed, duty no longer required me in the field. Wearied as I was with long and continuous service, I felt unable to endure the summer climate of Mississippi. To request to be relieved would place me with the "Unemployed generals" whose resignations had been solicited by the War Department order of May 1. I therefore tendered my resignation, and it was accepted.

The report of General Sheridan concerning the battle of Five Forks, dated May 16, I first saw in the official Army and Navy Gazette of June 13. In this he states his reasons for relieving me from command of the Fifth Corps. That he should have given his reason for this removal was to be expected, but I cannot but think it an additional hardship tome that these should have been given to the public, without my first having a chance to explain or justify my conduct on the points in question, especially as I had sought n every way to arrive at these reasons and to submit my conduct to the severest scrutiny. In justice I but ask that this report shall be given the same publicity.


The order of General Meade in the morning of April 1, to save under General Sheridan, gave me much satisfaction at the time of its receipt. I was then completely ignorant of his having a preference for another corps, or the slightest objection to myself. I had never seared with him before. When I met him at about 11 a. m. his manner was greatly and cordial. After talking with me a short tie at the place where I found him (during which time he was occasionally receiving reports from his cavalry commanders) he mounted and rode off to the front. At 1 p. m. on officer brought me an order to bring up the infantry. I at once dispatched Colonel (now brevet brigadier-general) H. C. Bankhead to give the orders to the division commanders to bring up their commands, specifying the relative order in which I though they could move the most rapidly. I then went up the Five Forks road, in advance of the infantry, to see General Sheridan, and to inform myself of the use to be made of my troops, so that no time would be lost on their arrival. General Sheridan explained to me the state of affairs and what his plan was for me to do. This I entered upon most cordially. He had placed a staff officer back on the road to mark the point where my command was to turn off. I then rode back to mark the point indicated, turned up the road (which led by Gravelly Run Church), and examined the ground, using my escort to picket the front I was to take up, so as to prevent the enemy discovering the presence of the infantry. General Sheridan's order was to form the whole corps before advancing, so that all of it should move simultaneously. He specially stated that the formation was to be oblique to the road, with the relight advanced, with two divisions in front, and the third in reserve behind the right division. The number of lines and consequent extend of front he left me to decide. Upon examination I determined on an equivalent of three lines of battle for each of the front divisions, arranged as follows: Each division was to place two brigades in front, each brigade in two lines of battle, and the third brigade in two lines of battle behind the center of the two front lines; the Third Division to be posted in column of battalions in mass behind the right. To General Ayres I assigned my left; General Craw-