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 river road as far as Howlett's, about three or four miles, but saw no enemy. The ‘back door’ of Richmond was closed, and Butler ‘bottled up.’ Soon after the affair at Drewry's Bluff, General Beauregard addressed to me a communication, proposing that he should be heavily reenforced from General Lee's army, so as to enable him to crush Butler in his entrenchments, and then, with the main body of his own force, together with a detachment from General Lee's army, that he should join General Lee, overwhelm Grant, and march to Washington. I knew that General Lee was then confronting an army vastly superior to his in numbers, fully equipped, with inexhaustible supplies and a persistence in attacking of which, sufficient evidence had been given. I could not therefore expect that General Lee would consent to the proposition of General Beauregard; as a matter of courteous consideration, however, his letter was forwarded with the usual formal endorsement. General Lee's opinion on the case was shown by the instructions he gave directing General Beauregard to straighten his line so as to reduce the requisite number of men to hold it, and send the balance to join the army north of the James.
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