Sheridan: “I do not think Lee means to surrender until compelled to do so”

Late tonight I received the following message from Sheridan.  He has captured some of Lee’s supplies.


April 8, 1865-9.20 p. m.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Armies of the United States:

GENERAL: I marched early this morning from Buffalo Creek and Prospect Station on Appomattox Station, where my scouts had reported trains of cars with supplies for Lee’s army. A short time before dusk General Custer, who had the advance, made a dash at the station, capturing four trains of supplies with locomotives. One of the trains was burned and the others were run back toward Farmville for security.  Custer then pushed on towards Appomattox C. H. driving the Enemy who Kept up a heavy fire of artillery, charging them repeatedly and capturing, as far as reported, twenty five pieces of artillery and a number of prisoners and wagons—The 1st Cavalry Division supported him on the right—A reconnaissance sent across the Appomattox reports the enemy moving on the Cumberland road to Appomattox Station, where they expected to get supplies. Custer is still pushing on. If General Gibbon and the Fifth Corps can get up to-night we will perhaps finish the job in the morning. I do not think Lee means to surrender until compelled to do so.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,


Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 369

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 653