War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0835 Chapter LVIII. THE APPOMATTOX CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

of General Griffin's division became separated in the woods from the rest and continued on with General Crawford's division, and was used by me on the Ford road. General Griffin moved against the enemy at "double-quick," taking his breast-works and 1,500 prisoners. As stated by General Crawford I came up with his division near B. Boisseau's after he had crossed the Ford road. He had been driving back the enemy's skirmish line all the way and continually turning the left of any force opposing Generals Ayres and Griffin.

NOTE.-General Sheridan's report states that he directed General Mackenzie to swing round on the right of the infantry and gain the Ford road, so as to cut off the enemy's escape that way. As General Mackenzie did not succeed in getting there till after the infantry had gained the road I asked of him the nature of his operations. He informed me that in attempting to execute his order he found himself north of Hatcher's Run and moving directly away from the battle, which seemed heavy. He therefore (as General Griffin had done) moved back toward the White Oak road so as to take part in the action.

I at once directed his line to swing round to face southward, as we had now closed up the outlets for the enemy's escape northward, and move down upon the position of the enemy at the forks of the road, a point well indicated to us by the firing of some pieces of artillery there by the enemy. General Crawford's troops soon encountered a stiff line of the enemy, formed to meet him, and from the fire of which General Coutler's brigade suffered severely. The contest, however, was short, for the enemy, now pressed front, flank, and rear, mostly threw down their arms. Three guns of the captured battery were found on the road where they had been stopped in their attempt to escape northward. Immediately after the forks were gained I directed General Crawford to change front again to the right and march toward the sound of the firing, so as again to take the enemy in flank and rear, and this he at once did. I also directed a cavalry brigade, which had been kept mounted and which now came rapidly along the Ford road toward me, not to move along it farther, but to file to their left and proceed in the direction General Crawford had taken. I then passed down the Ford road, reached the forks and turned to the right along the White Oak road. The troop were joyous and filled with enthusiasm at their success, but somewhat disorganized thereby and by their marching and fighting so long in the woods. On my arriving at the point E (see map),* I found that our advance there was stayed by the enemy, who had formed a new line for the left flank near the position F, while they yet maintained there line against our cavalry ont eh south. Though the orders had been not to halt, and many officers were then urging their men forward, the disordered men, not feeling the influence of their commanders, continued to fire without advancing. Accompanied by Captain Benyaurd and the portion of my staff then present, I rode out to the front and called those near me to follow. This was immediately responded to. Every where along the front the color-bearers and officers sprang out, and, without more firing, our men advanced, capturing all the enemy remaining. During this last charge my horse was fatally shot within a few paces of the line where the enemy made his last stand, and orderly by my side was killed, and Colonel Richardson, of the Seventh Wisconsin, who sprang between me and the enemy, was severely wounded. I sent General Bankhead, after the last of the enemy had been captured, to General Sheridan to report the result and receive his instructions. He


*See Plate LXVI, Map 11 of the Atlas.