Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. XXVIII. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1900.

Lane's Corps of sharpshooters.

The career of this famous body, with a roster of its officers.

The corps of sharpshooters of Lane's brigade was organized after the brigade went into winter quarters at Liberty Mills, Orange county, Va., in 1863. Picked officers and men were detailed from the regiments in proportion to their respective strength, and put in charge of Captain John G. Knox, of the 7th, who was a cool, brave and popular officer, and a splendid tactician. They were excused from all camp and picket duties, and thoroughly drilled in their special duties. When the following campaign opened, this corps was as fine a body of soldiers as the world ever saw.

In the Wilderness, on the 5th of May, 1864, the brigade was assigned a position on the left of the road near the home of a Mr. Turning, and the corps was pushed far to the front. Soon afterwards, the brigade was ordered to form at right angles to its original position for the purpose of sweeping the woods in front of another command. The corps returned at a double quick and deployed while the brigade was taking its new position. The enemy opened, and the corps dashed forward, poured a destructive fire into them, killed a large number and captured one hundred and forty-seven, including eight commissioned officers.

When the brigade was ordered to the right of the plank road that afternoon, where our troops were hard pressed, the corps fought on the extreme right, where Captain V. V. Richardson, a gallant officer and second in rank, was severely wounded. The fight continued until after dark in the woods, through the dense undergrowth. The contending lines was close to each other, and when the enemy attempted to turn our right, Knox was captured; and he was succeeded by the accomplished and gallant Captain William T. Nicholson, of the 37th.

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J. H. Lane (2)
John G. Knox (2)
Turning (1)
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William T. Nicholson (1)
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May 5th, 1864 AD (1)
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