War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 1103 Chapter LVIII. THE APPOMATTOX CAMPAIGN.

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this attack, a very obstinate and handsomely contested battle ensued, in which, with all his cavalry and two divisions of infantry, the enemy was unable to drive five brigades of our cavalry, dismounted, from an open plain in front of Dinwiddie Court-House. The brunt of their cavalry attack was borne by General Smith's brigade, which had so gallantly held the crossing of Chamberlain's Creek in the morning. His command again held the enemy in check wiht determined bravery, but the heavy force brought against his right flank finally compelled him to abandon his position on the creek and fall back to the main line immediately in front of Dinwiddie Court-House. As the enemy's infantry advanced to the attack, our cavalry threwup slight breast-works of rails at some points along our lines, and when the enemy attempted to force this position, they were handsomely repulsed and gave up the attempt to gain possession of the Court-House. It was after dark when the firing ceased, and the enemy lay on their arms that night not more than 100 yards in front of our lines.

The commands of Generals Devind and Davies reached Dinwiddie Court-House without opposition by way of the Boydton plank road, but did not participate in the final action of the day.

In this well-contested battle the most obstinate gallantry was displayed by my entire command. The brigades commanded by General Gibbs and Colonels Stagg and Fitzhugh, in the First Division, Generals Davies, Gregg, and Smith, in the Second Division, Colonels Pennington and Capehart, in the Third Division, vied with each other in their determined efforts to hold in check the superior of the enemy, and the skillful management of their troops in this peculiarly difficult country entitles the brigade commanders to the highest commendation.

Generals Crook, Merritt, Custer, and Devin, by their courage and ability, sustained their commands and executed the rapid movements of the day with promptness and without confusion.

During the night of the 31st of March my headquarters were at Dinwiddie Court-House, and the lieutenant-general notified me that the Fifth Corps would report to me and should reach me by midnight. This corps had been offered to me on the 30th instant, but very much desiring the Sixth Corps, which had been with me in the Shenandoah Valley, I asked for it, but on account of the delay which would occur in moving that corps from its position in the lines in front of Petersburg it could not be sent me. I respectfully submit herewith my brief account of the operations of the day, the response to which was the ordering of the Fifth Corps to my support and my command, as also the dispatch of the lieutenant-general notifying me of his action. I understood that the Fifth Corps, when ordered to report to me, was in position near S. Dabney's house, in the angle between the Boydton road and the Five Forks road. Had General Warren moved according to the expectations of the lieutenant-general, there would appear to have been but little chance for the escape of the enemy's infantry in front of Dinwiddie Court-House. Ayres' division moved down the Boydton plank road during the night, and in the morning moved west by R. Boisseau's house, striking the Five Forks road about two miles and a half north of Dinwiddie Court-House. General Warren, with Griffin's and Crawford's Divisions, moved down the road by Crump's house, coming into the Five Forks road near J. Boisseau's house between 7 and 8 o'clock on the morning of the 1st of April. Meantime I move my cavalry force at daylight against the enemy's lines in my front, which gave way rapidly, moving off by the right flank, and