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[2]

On the 12th of May, at Spotsylvania Courthouse, in front of the salient, on the left of the Fredericksburg road, this corps behaved with conspicuous gallantry in the presence of General Lee. That afternoon, after the brigade had attacked Burnside's corps in flank, General Lee sent for Lane, told him he had witnessed their gallant behavior and the cheerfulness with which they had borne the hardships of the day, and he did not have the heart to order them forward again; and yet, he wished them to make an important reconnoisance for him on the Fredericksburg road. When assured that they would cheerfully do whatever he wished, he replied: ‘Tell them it is a request and not an order.’ When Nicholson reported for instructions, General Lee especially cautioned him to let his men know that he would not send them unless they were willing to go. It was an inspiring sight when those brave fellows marched past their beloved chieftain. Every cap was waved and cheer followed cheer. General Lee, superbly mounted, gracefully bared his head, and uttered not a word, while the troops in the works joined in the cheering as those tired and hungry heroes went to the front.

On the 18th of May, while General Early, temporarily in command of A. P. Hill's corps, and Generals Wilcox and Lane and a number of staff officers were standing near the brick kiln, the enemy honored the group with a short but rapid artillery fire, under which Nicholson was severely wounded. Major Thomas J. Wooten, of the 18th, was then ordered to take charge of the corps, and he continued in command until the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. Young, cool and brave, but modest as a girl, he was a worthy successor of Knox and Nicholson.

This corps rendered splendid service from Spotsylvania Courthouse to Petersburg. Its first brilliant exploit near the ‘Cockade City’ was the surprise and capture of the enemy's videttes and reserve, without the loss of a man. The following will tell how it was appreciated:

General orders, no. 21.

headquarters Lane's Brigade, September 9, 1864.
The following communications are published to the brigade, not only as an act due the distinguished merit of their gallant recipient, but with the hope that it may encourage officers and men to emulate this noble example:


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