Numbers 276. Report of Major General George W. C. Lee, C. S. Army.
RICHMOND, VA., April 25, 1865.
COLONEL: In obedience to instructions, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command from the time of its leaving the lines at Chaffin's farm, on Sunday night, April 2, 1865, to its capture on the afternoon of the following Thursday, April 6, 1865:
The order to withdraw from the entrenchments was received by me at Major-General Kershaw's quarters, about 10 p.m. of the 2nd of April, and was issued to the two brigades [Barton's and Crutchfield's] under my command, at Chaffin's farm, about 11 p.m. of that night. The wagons, which had been loaded up in obedience to the preparatory order received at Chaffin's on the afternoon of Sunday, April 2, were at once sent off to cross James River at Richmond and proceed to Amelia Court-House, via Buckingham road and Meadville, as ordered. Not being able to cross the Appomattox River near Meadville, the wagon train moved up to Clemmentown, there made the passage of the river, and proceeded with safety until within about four miles of Amelia Court-House, when it was destroyed by a detachment of the enemy's cavalry on the morning of Wednesday, April 5, with the baggage of my division and 20,000 good rations, as I have recently learned from the division commissary, who escaped. The troops [Barton's and Crutchfield's brigades] crossed the James River on the Wilton bridge about 1 a.m. of Monday, April 3. The picket-line was withdrawn at 3 o'clock of that morning, and passed safely over the same bridge about daylight. My command then moved to Branch Church, and thence by Gregory's to the Genito road, as directed, camping that night about half a mile beyond Tomahawk Church.
In the absence of Lieutenant-General Ewell in a Northern prison, it may be proper for me to mention here that the detachments of troops in Richmond and Kershaw's division, followed by Gary's cavalry, or a portion of it, crossed the James River at Richmond, and followed my division to Tomahawk Church.
On the following morning, Tuesday, April 4, it being positively ascertained that the Appomattox River could not be crossed at Genito Bridge, arrangements were made to prepare the railroad bridge at Mattoax Station for the passage of the wagons, artillery, and troops, which was accomplished that night, and all went into camp on the hills beyond the river.
Early on Wednesday, April 5, the bridge having been destroyed, the column moved on to Amelia Court-House, at which place the Naval Battalion, commanded by Commodore Tucker, and the command of Major Frank Smith, from Howlett's, were added to my division. From Amelia Court-House, General Ewell's column, following that of General Anderson and followed by that of General Gordon, much impeded by the wagon trains, moved toward Jetersville and Amelia Springs, marching slowly all night. During this night march, firing having commenced between our flankers and some of the enemy's scouts, as is supposed, Major Frank Smith was mortally wounded, Captain Nash, assistant adjutant-general, Barton's brigade, lost a leg, and several others, whose names I have not been able to ascertain, were wounded. We passed Amelia Springs on the morning of Thursday, April 6, and