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History of Cambria County, V.2

3 a. m. were again in the pursuit, which now became a foot race. That night Grant camped at Wilson's Station on the South Side railroad, 27 miles west of Petersburg.
    Wednesday, April 5, Grant marched with the Army of the James under Gen. Ord (Capt. Hodge, Capt. Burke and 54th Regiment). At noon he had reached Nottoway Court House, about ten miles east of Burkesville, when he halted for a few hours' rest. The army then moved westward along the roads parallel with the South Side railroad. At dusk a lone soldier dressed in a Confederate uniform suddenly appeared from the bushes on the side of the road. A number of persons were in the act of seizing him, when Gen. Porter recognized him as Campbell, one of Sheridan's scouts, who had brought a dispatch for Grant. Campbell took a wad of tobacco from his mouth and breaking it pulled out a little ball of tinfoil, in which was the message, ending thus: "I wish you were here yourself." Grant dismounted from; his black pony, "Jeff Davis," and called for his big bay, "Cincinnati," and started with Gen. Porter and a few others to meet Sheridan, whom he reached about midnight.


    Gen. Lee evacuated Petersburg on the night of April 2. Gen. Sheridan, who was in command of the left wing of Grant's army, had received information that Lee had ordered his forces from the north and south sides of the Appomattox river to assemble at Amelia Court House, on the Richmond & Danville railroad, which is about 31 miles northwest of Petersburg, where he expected to get supplies for his army. On April 4 Sheridan ordered Gen. Crook (Capt. Black) to take his command and strike the railroad between Jetersville and Burkes- ville, and then move south along the railroad. On the same day he directed Gen. Merritt's division of cavalry (Capt. Blough) to move towards Amelia Court House, and sent Griffin's 5th Corps (Capt. Stackhouse) to Jetersville. Gen Sheridan reached the latter village before the arrival of the corps, and while awaiting his small escort arrested a man heading for Burkesville, riding a mule. The following dispatch was found on his person, signed by Gen. Lee's commissary general: "The army is at Amelia Court House, short of provisions. Send 300,000 rations quickly to Burkesville Junction." Sheridan at once changed his plans to meet the convincing information, by order- ing Crook (Capt. Black) to come towards him instead of going south. He

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