retreat toward Lynchburg. Our command followed in pursuit at daybreak, reaching Farmville about 12 m. April 7. The enemy's rear guard had passed through the place in sight of our advance. The corps bivouacked here for the night, except my brigade, which, with a section of Elder's battery, was ordered to proceed to the Appomattox, a distance of six miles, and hold the bridge across that stream. I advanced cautiously, with skirmishers and flankers out, and reached the bridge without opposition at about 9 p.m. The bridge had been burned and was completely destroyed. We found no infantry on our side the stream, but Rosser's cavalry was in some force on the other side. Bivouacking here for the night, I joined the command on the Lynchburg road at 9 a.m. on the 8th, bringing in a few prisoners, including Lieutenant R. M. McIntosh, of the Twenty-fifth Virginia Battalion. From that point the brigade marched with the division constantly, night and day, bivouacking within a mile of the Lynchburg railroad on the night of April 8. We had now by hard marching reached a point about 100 miles from Petersburg on the Lunchburg road. The men were foot-sore, weary, and hungry, but I heard no word of complaint.
At 3 o'clock on the morning of the 9th the command was again under arms. Sheridan had just captured three large trains of supplies for Lee's army. That army was making desperate efforts to escape to Lynchburg by the main road to that city. Sheridan's cavalry had reached that road, and the First Division was ordered forward to support him. As we neared the ground the rebel infantry charged the cavalry, which broke in confusion and left our line on the road to withstand the shock. The First Brigade was formed for a charge by General Foster, and as soon as my brigade could pass Elder's battery, which was done at the double-quick, I commenced to form on the left. The Eleventh Maine, being in the advance, should have been first in position, but for some reason the commanding officer of the Tenth Connecticut, who received his orders after the commanding officer of Eleventh Maine, was first in line. While I was forming the brigade the Eleventh Maine moved off with the First Brigade, as I understand by order of General Foster, leaving me the Sixty-second Ohio in its place. I then advanced my command as rapidly as possible, following the First Brigade, until the latter, under a severe enfilading fire of grape and canister, fell back, the rebels about the same time retiring in confusion. No man of the Third Brigade fell back without orders, and the conduct of both officers and men was all that could be desired. The right flank of the Eleventh Maine having become exposed by the falling back of a portion of the First Brigade, the enemy got in its rear and captured a number of prisoners, including Lieutenant-Colonel Hill, who had been previously wounded. After being rifled of his personal effects he was allowed to return.
In this affair I cannot too much praise to the officers of the brigade staff. Captain Frank Hawkins, acting assistant inspector-general, and Captain Stowits, acting assistant adjutant-general, rendered me in very difficult circumstances the most valuable assistance. They were constantly exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy's artillery, but both miraculously escaped. Lieutenant Fred. T. Mason, Eleventh Maine, aide-de-camp, was severely wounded by a shell while receiving my orders, and is now in hospital. His conduct was everything that could be desired. Surg. T. M. Laney, chief medical officer of the brigade, Captain Angelo Grapo, commissary of subsistence, and First Lieutenant W. H. H. Andrews, brigade quartermaster, were prompt and efficient in the performance of their respective duties, and all in turn rendered me valuable assistance.