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New York, January 19th, 1892. (Lee's Birthday.)
John R. Turner, Esq., A. P. Hill Camp, C V., Petersburg, Va.:
dear Sir—Your letter of January 14th was forwarded to me from Savannah, and am very glad to hear from you. The events you describe are so long ago, that one's memory may be pardoned if slightly treacherous as to details, but I may say at once that your recital of the incident and the movement of Mahone's brigade at the Battle of the Wilderness conforms accurately to my own recollection of it, excepting, of course, the too partial and flattering view you take of my own personal service there. But I will give you briefly my own version of it, which really is nearly your own.

Longstreet's corps had to move at the earliest hour in the morning of the 6th of May, and, arriving at the battle-field, was just in time to be thrown across the plank-road and check the enemy whose attack had begun on A. P. Hill's corps. This of itself was a magnificent performance of the corps — to form line in the dense thicket after a hasty march, in the midst of troops suddenly attacked and retiring from the front in disorder. Being done during the enemy's attack, it displayed the steadiness characteristic of Longstreet's famous corps. This checked that attempt, and for a short time there was some quiet. It was then, too, you will recollect, that General Lee was about to lead the Texas brigade into action, so threatening was the situation. He was almost forcibly stopped by his officers and the entreaties of the soldiers.

This incident is given by Colonel Charles S. Venable, of General Lee's staff, as follows (in his address before the Association of the Army of Northern Virginia, October 31, 1873):

It was here that the incident of Lee's charge with Gregg's Texas brigade occurred. The Texans cheered lustily as their line of battle, coming up in splendid style, passed by Wilcox's disordered columns, and swept across our artillery pit and its adjacent breastwork. Much moved by the greeting of these brave men and their magnificent behavior, General Lee spurred his horse through an opening in the trenches and followed close on their line as it moved rapidly forward. The men did not perceive that he was going with them until they had advanced some distance in the charge; when they did, there came from the entire line, as it rushed on, the cry, “Go back, General Lee! Go back!” Some historians like to put this

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