to and at a point a short distance from the White Oak road." This threw the right in the advance, and it was supposed by him would strike the enemy first and need the support.
During the formation of my troops I used all the exertions possible to hasten their arrival, and everything was so prepared for them that they marched at once to their assigned position without a halt. General Sheridan expressed to me the apprehension that the cavalry, which continued to fire on the enemy, would use up all their ammunition before my troops would be ready. I informed him that they would not all be in position before 4 p. m., but that I was ready to move at once with whatever was at hand if he directed, and I let the rest follow, but he did not. His impatience was no greater apparently than I felt myself, and which I strove to repress and prevent any exhibition of, as it would tend to impair confidence in the proposed operations. When everything possible is being done, it is important to have the men think that it is all that success requires, if their confidence is to be retained.
Against General Sheridan's most ungenerous statement that I gave him the impression that I wanted the sun to go down, I simply place my denial, and trust that my whole conduct in life, and especially in this war, sustains me in it. The sun did not set until two hours and a half after the formation was completed.
In proof of the efforts I made to get the troops in position and the rapidity with which they did move, I present the following communications from Brevet Brigadier-General Bankehead, of my staff; Brevet Major-General Crawford, commanding Third Division; Brevet Major-General Griffin, commanding First Division; Brevet Major-General Ayres, commanding Second Division:
General Bankhead writes, under date of June 27:
SIR: In reply to your letter of the 17th instant, received the 25th, I have the honor to state that I was with you april 1, at the time you received some instructions from General Sheridan through one of his staff officers. As to the nature of the order I am not aware, further than that you immediately turned to me and directed me "to bring up the corps at once" along the road we were at the time, and that you would meet the column yourself; that the divisions would march in the following order, viz: Third, First, Second. I immediately galloped back and gave the order in person to Generals Griffin and Crawford. As I was directed to see the head of the column was started on the right road, I sent the order to General Ayres, commanding Second Division (who was farther off to the right), by one of your aides, either Major Cope or Captain Wadsworth. The orders were obeyed promptly, and the troops l moved out as expeditiously as the nature of the road and the crowded state it was in (being blocked up with led cavalry horses) would admit. Every exertion appeared to be made by General Crawford, who had the advance, to keep the road clear for the infantry to pass. I remained with the head of the column until within a short distance of the place it was halted and placed in position to make the attack.
H. C. BANKHEAD,
Brevet Colonel and Assistant Inspector-General.
The following is from General Crawford, dated July 17:
GENERAL: In reply to your communication of June 17, asking if my division did not move with all practicable dispatch in forming prior to our attack on the enemy at the battle of Five Forks, I have the honor to state that the troops under my command moved at once upon receipt of the order, and that, in my opinion, on unnecessary time was lost from that time till they were formed as you directed.
S. W. CRAWFORD,
The following is from General Griffin, dated June 26:
GENERAL: In reply to your communication of the 17th instant, in reference to the movement of the First Division just prior to the battle of Five Forks, April 1, 1865, I have to state I was in command of that division on that day, and, about 2 p. m.,