crossing Chamberlain's Creek. This hasty movement was accelerated by the discovery that two divisions of the Fifth Corps were in their rear, and that one division was moving toward their left and rear.
The following were the instructions sent to General Warren:
Dinwiddie Court-House, April 1, 1865-3 a.m.
Commanding Fifth Army Corps:
I am holding in front of Dinwiddie Court-House, on the road leading to Five Forks, for three-quarters of a mile, with General Custer's division. The enemy are in his immediate front, lying so as to cover the road just this side of A. Adams' house, which leads out across Chamberlain's bed or run. I understand you have a division at J. Boisseau's; if so, you are in rear of the enemy's line and almost on his flanks. I will hold on here. Possibly they may attack Custer at daylight; if so, attack instantly and in full force. Attack at daylight anyhow, and I will make an effort to get the road this side of Adams' house, and if I do you can capture the whole of them. Any force moving down the road I am holding, or on the White Oak road, will be in the enemy's rear, and in all probability get any force that may escape you by a flank attack. Do not fear my leaving here. If the enemy remains I shall fight at daylight.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
As they fell back the enemy was rapidly followed by General Merritt's two divisions-General Devin on the right and General Custer on the left; General Crook in rear. During the remainder of the day General Crook's division held the extreme left and rear and was not seriously engaged.
I then determined that I would drive the enemy with the cavalry to the Five Forks, press them inside of their works, and make a feint to turn their right flank, and meanwhile quietly move up the Fifth Corps with a view to attacking their left flank, crush the whole force, if possible, and drive westward those who might escape, thus isolating them from their army at Petersburg. Happily, this conception was successfully executed. About this time General Mackenzie's division of cavalry, from the Army of the James, reported to me, and consisted of about 1,000 effective men. I directed General Warren to hold fast at J. Boisseau's house, refresh his men, and be ready to move to the front when required; and General Mackenzie was ordered to rest in front of Dinwiddie Court-House until further orders. Meantime General Merritt's command continued to press the enemy, and by impetuous charges drove them from two lines of temporary works, General Custer guiding his advance on the Widow Gilliam's house and General Devin on the main Five Forks road. The courage displayed by the cavalry officers and men was superb, and about 2 o'clock the enemy was behind his works on the White Oak road, and his skirmish line drawn in. I then ordered up the Fifth Corps on the main road, and sent Brevet Major Gillespie, of the Engineers, to turn the head of the column off on the Gravelly Church road, and put the corps in position on this road obliquely to and at a point but a short distance from the White Oak road and about one mile from the Five forks. Two divisions of the corps were to form the front line, and one division was to be held in reserve, in column of regiments, opposite the center. I then directed General Merritt to demonstrate as though he was attempting to turn the enemy's right flank, and notified him that the Fifth Corps would strike the enemy's left flank, and ordered that the cavalry should assault the enemy's works as soon as the Fifth Corps became engaged, and that would be determined by the volleys of musketry. I then rode over to