penetrating their line at all points nearly simultaneously, capturing the few remaining pickets. Ely's brigade, of Willcox's division, was the first to enter the town, near the Appomattox, and to Colonel Ely to formal surrender of the city was made by the authorities; and at 4.28 a.m. the flag of the First Michigan Sharpshooters was raised on the court-house, and guards were posted throughout the town.
The document surrendering the city accompanies Colonel Ely's report.* General Willcox's dispatch announcing the occupation of the city was transmitted by me to the commanding general at 5 a.m.
The enemy had fired the bridge, but by the prompt efforts of our officers and troops the main structure was saved, and skirmishers were pushed across the river and picked up numbers of stragglers. Many stragglers were captured in the city and outskirts.
Receiving instructions from the major-general commanding to move in pursuit of the retreating enemy with two divisions, leaving one to garrison the city, I accordingly directed Brevet Major-General Willcox to assume command of the city, and garrison it with his division. Being directed to follow the Sixth Corps, on the River road, I moved out behind it with Griffin's Hartranft's divisions, and kept closed onto General Wright's rear till after dark, when we camped in the vicinity of Sutherland's, some ten miles from the city.
On the next day, April 4, we moved at daylight, still following the Sixth Corps until about 3.30 p.m., when I received a dispatch from the general commanding, directing me to move over to the Cox road with my command, and continue on that road, guarding the trains and picketing the railroad up to the rear of the army. This I accordingly did, moving forward as the army moved, scouting and picketing well to the southward to guard against any incursion from that quarters, until the surrender of the rebel army, when my command was stretched from Sutherland's to Farmville. Affairs remained in this situation until the night of the 19th of April, when I received orders to move my command to Washington via City Point.
In accordance with these orders the corps was started at daylight on the 25th, and its connection with the Army of the Potomac ceased.
To my division commanders, Generals Willcox, Potter, Hartranft, and Griffin, and to Brevet Brigadier-General Tidball, chief of artillery, my thanks are due for the ability and faithfulness with which they discharged every duty imposed upon them.
I cannot speak in too high terms of conduct of both officers and men of the corps in this closing campaign of the army. In the long and terrible struggle of April 2 they behaved with a gallantry and steadiness which reflects the greatest credit upon themselves and our arms, and are above praise.
For individual instances of good conduct I refer to the subordinate reports which are herewith transmitted.
To the members of my staff I am under great obligations for gallant and efficient service rendered me.
Bvt. Brigadier General Charles G. Loring, assistant inspector-general; Bvt. Colonel J. L. Van Buren; Bvt. Majs. J. B. Parke and D. A. Pell, and Captain R. H. I. Goddard, aides-de-camp; Bvt. Lieutenant Colonel P. M. Lydig and Captain John C. Youngman, assistant adjutants-general, and Captain James S. Casey, commissary of musters, were with me during the battle of April 2, and did gallant and distinguished service.