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[582] corps of General Grant's army on the three feeble divisions under Generals Hoke, Wise, and Bushrod Johnson, during that eventful Friday night, the 17th of June.

During those three memorable days, in the capacity of your aid, I received, read, and wrote out all the telegrams you received from and sent to General Lee, and to the Government at Richmond.

After informing General Lee several times that you were being confronted by the whole of Grant's army, and receiving no reply, you sent, on Friday, the 17th, at 5 P. M., a telegram to General Lee, that unless reinforced you would evacuate Petersburg the next day (Saturday), at 12 o'clock. In answer to this—and my memory is very clear upon this point—you received a telegram couched in these terms:

Drury's Bluff, Friday, June 17th: P. M. [Or, Saturday, June 18th: A. M.]
Geul. Beauregard:
Am not yet satisfied as to General Grant's movements; but upon your representations will move at once on Petersburg.

Early Saturday morning General Kershaw's division, leading the advance of General Lee's army, arrived in Petersburg, and was at once ordered to extend our lines on the right.

General Lee arrived, I think, at about nine o'clock1 Saturday morning. You rode with him to the front, with the view of inducing him to attack the enemy, if he found it practicable. He decided not to attack, and our men commenced putting up the intrenchments, which they so nobly defended until April, 1865.

Hoping that the few data I have herein given you may be of service to you for your history of the siege of Petersburg,

I remain, yours truly,

Saml. Choppin, M. D., ex-Medical Inspector, C. S. A. To Genl. G. T. Beauregard.


clay's House, June 17th, 1864:1.45 P. M.
Genl. G. T. Beauregard, Petersburg, Va.:
Fifth Corps (Warren's) crossed Chickahominy at Long Bridge on the 13th; was driven from Riddel's Shop by General Hill, leaving many dead and prisoners on our hands. That night it marched to Westover. Some prisoners were taken from it on the 14th. Have not heard of it since. All prisoners taken here are from 10th Corps.

R. E. Lee, Genl.
Official. W. H. Taylor, A. A. G.

1 He arrived at 11.30 A. M. on that day.

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