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History of Cambria County, V.2

    On the night of March 31st, Gen. Sheridan, without infantry, had his cavalry at Five Forks. At 10:15 p. m. Gen. Grant sent the following order from Dabney's Mills to Gen. Meade: "Let Warren (Capt. Stackhouse) move in the way you propose, and urge him not to stop for anything. Let Griffin (Capt. Stackhouse) go on as he was first directed." Grant informed Sheridan that Warren would arrive about midnight, and at 3 a. m., April 1, not having heard from him, Sheridan sent a dispatch to Warren to attack "at daylight anyhow."
    At 1 a. m., Pickett, threatened by Warren's 5th Corps (Capt. Stackhouse) on his left, ordered a retreat to Five Forks to protect his communications with the South Side Railroad. Sheridan followed him at daylight with Devin's and Custer's (Capt. Blough) divisions, Crook's division (Capt. Black) being thrown on roads to the left. Pickett was found behind his intrenchments at Five Forks. About 1 p. m. Sheridan's cavalry had worked close up to Pickett's lines, when Sheridan ordered up Warren's 5th Corps (Capt. Stackhouse). McKenzie's cavalry division (Capt. Hads) advancing on the extreme right, drove Robert's cavalry and gained the White Oak road.
    At 4 p. m. Warren formed Ayres' and Crawford's divisions in double lines, on the left and right of the Gravelly Run Church road. In a few minutes these divisions were on the White Oak road, where Ayres received a severe fire on his left and at once changed front and attacked the enemy in its entrenchments. Crawford continued to advance straight through the woods, with Griffin (Capt. Stackhouse) following. But Griffin saw the situation, and marching his division by the left flank, protected Ayres' flank, which had been thrown into confusion. Ayres finally connected with the cavalry on his left, made a gallant charge, carried the enemy's left, and swept down inside its works to and beyond Five Forks, capturing many prisoners. The enemy tried to make a stand on the road leading to the railroad, but the men were pursued so closely by Griffin (Capt. Stackhouse) and Crawford that they soon gave way.
    Warren changed Crawford's division from the right to the left, and advancing in the rear of the enemy's infantry, with McKenzie's cavalry (Capt. Hads) on the right, drove them north of Hatcher's Run, taking four guns and many prisoners.
    On the extreme left Custer (Capt. Blough) had a severe fight with cavalry and infantry, and gained but little ground until Devin and Ayres advancing from the rear, drove the

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Created: 26 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors