Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Edwin M. Stanton [2]

City Point,
Hon. Secretary of War: April 7, 1865---9 a.m.

The following further just received. A. LINCOLN.

A. Lincoln Burkeville

The following Telegrams respectfully forwarded for your Information U.S. GRANT Lt Gen

2d ac 7.30 PM 6th

Bt Maj Gen A. S. Webb

Our last fight just before dark at Sailors Creek gave us two (2) guns 3 flags considerable number of prisoners 200 wagons 70 ambulances with mules & horses to about one half the wagons & ambulances. There are between 30 & 50 wagons in addition abandoned & destroyed along the road some batty wagons forges [?] & limbers I have already reported to you the capture 1 gun 2 flags & some prisoners & the fact that the Road for over 2 miles is strewed with tents baggage cooking utensils some ammunition some material of all kinds the wagons [are] across the approach to the bridge & it will take some time to clear it The Enemy is in position on the heigth beyond, with 6 artillery the bridge partially destroyed & the approaches on other side are of soft bottom land We cannot advance tomorrow in the same manner we have today. as soon as I get my troops up a little we are considerably mixed I might push a column down the road & deploy it but [it] is Evident that I cannot follow rapidly during the night


Maj Gen

Meades Hd Qrs 10 P.M Apl 6

Lt Gen Grant

At daylight this morning I moved the 2d 5 & 6th Corps along the R R in the direction of Amelia C.H soon after moving reliable Intelligence was received that the Enemy was moving toward Farmville [and] the direction [of] the 2d & 5th Corps was immedidiately changed from a northerly to a north westerly directionPage  391 the directing Corps the 2d moving on Deatonville & the 5th hertofore in the centre moved on the right of the 2d & the 6th facing about and moving by the left flank taking position on left of the 2d it was understood the Cavalry would operate on the extreme left the changes were promptly made the 2d corps soon becoming engaged with the Enemy near Deatonville driving him by night across sailor Creek to the appomatox the 5th corps made a long march but its position prevented its striking the Enemys column before it had passed. The 6th Corps came up with the Enemy about 4 PM & in conjunction with the 2d on its right & cavalry on its left attacked & routed the Enemy Capturing many prisoners among the [m] Lt Gen Ewell & Gen Custis Lee. I transmit dispatch[es] both from Gen Humphreys & Wright which in justice to these distinguished officers & the gallant Corps they command I beg may be sent to the War Dept for immediate publication. it is impossible at this moment to give any estimate in [of] the casualties in either side or of the number of prisoners taken but it is evident todays [2] FOOTNOTES}>(2) works is going to be one of the most important of the recent brilliant operations The pursuit will be continued so soon as the men have a little rest [Charles] Griffin with 5th Corps will be moved by the left & Wright & Humphreys continue the direct pursuit as long as it promises success


Maj Gen

Hd Qrs 6th 10 PM Apl 6

Maj Gen Webb

In pursuance with instruction of this morning from Maj Gen Meade I moved via Jetersville by the shortest practicable road to the left of Deatonville with the object of there taking position on left of the 2d Corps striking the road running from Deatonsville to Burkes Station at a point a little to the south ward of the former place. I found that the 2d Corps was engaged to the front & right & the Cavalry heavily to my left moving down the road towards Burks Station perhaps a mile & turning sharp to right I proceeded across toward a nearly paralel road on which the Enemy was moving & along which he had thrown up a line of entrenchments as soon as the leading Division Gen [Truman] Seymours could be formed it was moved upon the road held by the Enemy which was carried then turning to the left it was advanced down the road against a pretty strong resistance by this time [Frank] Wheatons Division was put in position as rapidly as possible on Seymours left the lines were again advanced & we swept down the road for a distance of about 2 miles arriving at a Deep & difficult creek wePage  392 found the Enemy had reformed his line on the opposite side where we attacked & drove him to a point a distance of a half mile further In the 1st attack a portion of the Cavalry operated on our right flank in its subsequent attacks the mass of cavalry operated on our left & right flank of the Enemy. The result has been a complete success. The combined forces captured 5 General officers among them Gen Ewell & Custis Lee & large numbers of other prisoners I shall go in camp about 2 miles beyond this point & await instructions the 1st & 3d Divisions Wheatons & Seymours & the artillery Engaged today behaved splendidly a return of casualties will be forwarded as soon as possible The Corps has nobly sustained the reputation it earned on the 2d inst as well as upon its many previous hard fought battle fields




[1]   OR, I, XLVI, III, 640. As printed in the Official Records, the enclosures are omitted, but a footnote cities the pages where they may be found. Nicolay and Hay (XI, 76-77) printed only the first of the enclosures. The text for the enclosures as given above is taken from the telegram which Lincoln received from Grant (DLC-RTL).

[2]   The remainder of this sentence appears in OR (I, XLVI, III, 596) as follows: ``to-day's work is not going to be one of the least important in the recent brilliant operations.''