infantry, and was about to charge the trains and the confused mass of the enemy, when a white flag was presented to General Custer, who had the advance, and who sent the information to me at once that the enemy desired to surrender.
Riding over to the left at Appomattox Court-House I met Major-General Gordon, of the rebel service, and Major-General Wilcox. General Gordon requested a suspension of hostilities pending negotiations for a surrender then being held between Lieutenant-General Grant and General Lee. I notified him that I desired to prevent the unnecessary effusion of blood, but as there was nothing definitely settled in the correspondence, and as an attack had been made on my lines with the view to escape, under the impression our force was only cavalry, I must have some assurance of an intended surrender. This General Gordon gave, by saying that there was no doubt of the surrender of General Lee's army. I then separated from him, with an agreement to meet these officers again in half an hour, at Appomattox Court-House. At the specified time, in company with General Ord, who commanded the infantry, I again met this officer, also Lieutenant-General Longstreet, and received from them the same assurance, and hostilities ceased until the arrival of Lieutenant-General Grant.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. H. SHERIDAN,
Bvt. Major General JOHN A. RAWLINS, Chief of Staff.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.] HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY, Dinwiddie Court-House, March 31, 1865.
Lieutenant-General GRANT, Commanding Armies of the United States:
The enemy's cavalry attacked me about 10 o'clock to-day, on the road coming in from the west and a little north of Dinwiddie Court-House. This attack was very handsomely repulsed by General Smith's brigade, of Crook's division, and the enemy was driven across Chamberlain's Creek. Shortly afterward the enemy's infantry attacked on the same creek in heavy force, and drove in General Davies' brigade, and, advancing rapidly, gained the forks of the road at J. Boisseau's. This forced Devin, who was in advance, and DAvies to cross to the Boydton road. General Gregg's brigade and General Gibbs' brigade, who had been toward Dinwiddie, then attacked the enemy in the rear very handsomely. This stopped the march toward the left of our infantry, and finally caused them to turn toward Dinwiddie and attack us in heavy force. The enemy then again attacked at Chamberlain's Creek, and forced Smith's position. At this time Capehart's and Pennington's brigades, of Custer's division, came up, and a very handsome fight occurred. The enemy have gained some ground, but we still hold in front of Dinwiddie, and Davies and Devin are coming down the Boydton road to join us. The opposing force was Pickett's division, Wise's independent brigade of infantry, and Fitzhugh Lee's, Rosser's, and W. H. F. Lee's cavalry commands. The men have behaved splendidly. Our loss in killed and wounded will probably number 450 men. Very few were lost as prisoners. We have of the enemy a number of prisoners. This force is too strong for us. I will hold out to Dinwiddie Court-House until I am compelled to leave. Our fighting to-day was all dismounted.
P. H. SHERIDAN,