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[11] bridges, and met the enemy on the Petersburg turnpike, tearing up the railroad. Here the fight commenced. We re-established the Howlett line about the 20th of June, but had a very hard fight. Here General Lee complimented Pickett's division. The General did not wish to bring on an engagement at this point, and sent repeated orders to Pickett to halt. These orders were transmitted to the troops, but were of no avail.

Pickett's men dashed on in spite of the efforts of their officers to stop them, in a fierce and impetuous charge, and drove Butler into his own works, and re-established Beauregard's line, with the enemy in front and the woods afire behind us. This drew the following complimentary letter from General Lee to General Anderson, then commanding Longstreet's corps, he (Longstreet) having been wounded at the Wilderness:

Clay's House, June 17th, 5:30 P. M.
Lieutenant-General R. H. Anderson, commanding Longstreet's corps:
General,—I take pleasure in presenting to you my congratulations upon the conduct of the men of your corps. I believe they will carry anything they are put against. We tried very hard to stop Pickett's men from capturing the breastworks of the enemy, but could not do it. I hope his loss has been small.

I am respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee, General.

In this connection I will say your division stayed on the Howlett line until about the 1st of March, 1865, Armistead's brigade being ordered at different times to reinforce other commands at different places, viz: Chaffin's Bluff, Fort Harrison and the Darbytown road, and in pursuit of Sheridan's raid around Richmond.

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