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Letter from General R. E. Lee.

headquarters army of Northern Virginia, 2d June, 1864--8 P. M.
Honorable Secretary of war, Richmond, Va.:
Sir — Yesterday afternoon the enemy's cavalry were reported to be advancing by the left of our line toward Hanover Courthouse and Ashland. General Hampton, with Rosser's brigade, proceeded to meet them. Rosser fell upon their rear, charged down the road towards Ashland, bearing every thing before him. His progress was arrested at Ashland by the entrenchments of the enemy, when he changed his direction, and advanced up the Fredericksburg railroad.

General W. H. F. Lee came up at this time with a part of his division, and a joint attack was made. The enemy was quickly driven from the place and pursued toward Hanover Courthouse till dark.

During the afternoon, General Fitz. Lee was forced to retire from Old Cold Harbor, on our extreme right, and as it was evident that the enemy was moving in that direction, our own line was extended accordingly--General Hoke occupying the extreme right.

The enemy attacked in heavy force and succeeded in penetrating between Hoke and Anderson, where there was an interval in our line, causing the right of Anderson and the left of Hoke to fall back a short distance. General Hoke subsequently recovered his position, and General Anderson's right assumed one a short distance in rear of that it first occupied.

This morning the enemy's movement to our right continuing, corresponding changes were made in our line, Breckinridge's command and two divisions of General Hill being placed on the right. General Early, with Ewell's corps and Heth's division, occupied our left, and was directed to endeavor to get upon the enemy's right flank and drive down in front of our line. General Early made the movement in the afternoon, and drove the enemy from his entrenchments, following him until dark. While this attack was progressing, General Hill reinforced Breckinridge with two brigades of Wilcox's division, and dislodged the enemy from Turkey Hill, in front of our extreme right.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee, General. Official: C. Marshall, Lieutenant-Colonel and Aid-de-Camp.

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June 2nd, 1864 AD (1)
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