[I.] Glimpses of Army life in 1864. extracts from letters written by Brigadier-General J. H. Lane.
1 * * * The telegraphic columns in the Richmond papers have anticipated the action of my brigade about reenlisting. I intend calling on them for an expression of opinion next week, and I hope  it will be such as has been represented. The Seventh and Thirty-third are original war-regiments, so that it is only necessary to look after the Eighteenth, Twenty-eighth and Thirty-seventh. I do not know the state of feeling in the Thirty-seventh, but from the demonstrations of the Twenty-eighth to-day at drill, when the subject was mentioned by its commander, I have good reasons to believe that it, as well as the Eighteenth, will be ‘all right.’ I have no idea that the Government would let them go home, and only values an expression of opinion on this point from the army for its moral effect. When one of the companies of the Twenty-eighth to-day stood unanimously by the colors, the captain was wild with enthusiasm, and, jumping in front of it, he yelled out ‘Good for old Company A! Men, I love the very ground you stand on.’ As the colonel omitted, through an oversight, to say anthing to ‘Company K,’ its captain called out, ‘Colonel, you forgot the Stanly Guards, but we are all here to a man.’ Old Captain Holland, who addresses his men so very politely, and about whom we have had several good laughs, raised a big laugh again to-day by constantly singing out in his peculiar way, ‘Be firm, Company H’; and when the call was made, and they all stood firm, he sang out ‘Colonel, old Cleveland is all right, let us give three cheers to the soldiers,’ and the biggest sort of an old Rebel yell was raised at once. I wish Colonel Barbour was here to talk to his regiment. After returning from furlough he was immediately and very unexpectedly recalled home again by the illness of his wife. She was not expected to live, and she had expressed a desire to see him. My shoe-shop is now in operation, but as the Government will not allow us to exchange hides for leather, and is unable to furnish the leather itself in any quantity, we have to confine ourselves to cobblers' work altogether. I do not expect there was ever seen another such lot of old shoes as that sent up this morning to be half-soled and patched. To see them all arranged in the shops by regiments and labeled with the owners' names elicited many hearty laughs.
Governor Vance addressed Scales' brigade last Thursday and was to have spoken to mine next day, but the clerk of the  weather would not permit. It was a great disappointment to the many who had come from a distance to hear him. There was an immense crowd here, including a large number of fair damsels from the neighborhood, and I was sorry to see them dispersing in the rain without a speech. Yesterday was ushered in with a snow-storm, which soon turned into rain, and there was every prospect that the address would have to be postponed until to-morrow; but at two o'clock it ceased raining, and the Governor harangued the brigade for an hour and a half, notwithstanding the dampness and the high wind, as he is very anxious to get back to Raleigh. He left this morning for Hanover Junction, where he will address Johnston's brigade to-morrow. He was called upon this morning at Gordonsville for a speech, but refused as it was the Sabbath. It is the first time that I have had the pleasure of meeting him. He is a large, fine-looking man and one of marked intelligence. In him is happily blended true eloquence and sound reasoning, with an inexhaustible fund of anecdotes. His speech to Scales' brigade was a much finer intellectual effort than the one delivered to ours. His appeal to the soldiers to stand by their colors, his enumeration of the qualities of heroes out of whose blood spring nations and empires, and his showing that all things earthly as well as heavenly that are truly worth having must be purchased at the sacrifice of blood, were really grand, and brought tears to the eyes of many of the old battle-scarred veterans. It was an interesting sight to witness these old heroes wipe away tears, and a few moments later be convulsed with laughter. J. E. B. Stuart followed him around and seemed to be completely carried away with his speeches, and I understand General Lee on one or two occasions forgot his usual dignity and laughed heartily at his anecdotes. I am sure the visit of such a fine speaker to the army has had a beneficial effect upon the soldiers. The Governor must be heard to be properly appreciated. * *
409] little dry spot near the centre of my tent, while the water is dripping all around me. It does not take long for the strong winds to dry the roads in this section; and I would not be at all surprised if Grant gave us something to do soon. It is reported in camp, but with how much truth I am unable to say, that he is being reinforced by Sherman. Our boys are confident of whipping him when he does come, as they do not consider him a great general, but attribute his success to his superior numbers. They have implicit confidence in ‘Uncle Robert's’ strategy and his ability to penetrate Grant's designs. I have received orders to commence ‘ditching’ again and will begin to-morrow by throwing up rifle-pits and artillery works to defend the bridge and sweep the turnpike at Liberty Mills. General Lee has issued his transportation order, which will produce quite an exodus of officer's wives. The ration bill is still enforced and nothing has yet been done to relieve the officers. I addressed General Lee an official communication asking that I be allowed to report officer's servants as ‘laundresses,’ as I looked upon the act as a very unjust one; and he replied that officer's servants could not be reported as ‘laundresses,’ nor could the servants of enlisted men be so reported unless they were mustered in as laundresses for the use of all the men. Applications for officers to dine out now are much more frequent. Lately, whenever anything is stolen in the neighborhood, the privates laugh and say: ‘That is the result of the ration bill; it won't do to bring our officers down to one ration.’ The other day when I ordered a search to see if we could find any traces of a stolen hog in my command, one of the captains was accosted by one of the men whose tent he was searching and laughingly told that he was inspecting the wrong tent; may be he could find out something about the old black sow at the head of the street, where he understood they didn't get enough to eat. It is a good joke for the men, and the officers take it very gracefully. We are still getting along very well at brigade headquarters, although Lieutenant Lane in charge has given orders that we must not take too much exercise as it might increase our appetites. Chaplain Kennedy has been with the brigade for some time and is one of the best I have seen in the army. He has been relieved from duty in the field and ordered to report as post chaplain at Charlotte, N. C. I am very sorry to lose him, both on account of his ministerial and social qualifications; but I could not do otherwise than approve his application to be transferred, as it was based on his  wife's delicate health. His transfer now leaves us with only one chaplain. A missionary has been assigned to this brigade by the North Carolina Methodist Conference. There is some difficulty about rationing him, as Congress, at its last session, defeated the bill allowing missionaries to purchase anything from the subsistence department. I shall address a communication to General Lee tomorrow to see if he will not be allowed either to draw or purchase rations for himself. The Methodist and Baptist predominate in this brigade and there are some Presbyterians, but not many Episcopalians if the last summer's joke is true. The Rev. Mr. Patterson preached to the brigade last summer when we were camped near Orange Court House, and being an Episcopalian, he wore his surplice, &c. He had a very large congregation, and it is said, that after the services, many of the men were wondering amongst themselves ‘What sort of man is that,’ and it was decided, after considerable speculation, that he was a ‘Chinese,’ because he looked like the pictures in their geographies. * * * *
Captain G. B. Johnston,2 my truly good and noble friend, is dead. I can't help sympathizing with his bereaved and lovely wife, who almost idolized him. It is some comfort to know that he has gone to heaven and is at rest. He was aware for months that he had not long to live; used to speak of his fast-approaching death with perfect composure, and wonder if in meeting friends in heaven he would be allowed to experience the same strong feelings of attachment for them that he had always done on earth. He was indeed a ‘shining mark’—young, pious, noble, intellectual, full of promise, and universally beloved. Captain E. J. Hale, Jr., who succeeds Captain Johnston as my adjutant-general, is handsome, intellectual, and well educated, is a good officer, and possesses many fine traits of character. He is a married man, the only married one, by the way, on my staff. * *
411] of ladies were present as well as several general officers. Captain Hale addressed the thirteen knights in a pretty little speech just before the bugle sounded. The band played at intervals, and the riding was really fine. Each knight rode five times, and, to be perfectly successful, had to cut off a head, take the ring, strike another head on the ground, and pierce still another on a pole at each riding, and all in ten seconds. One person was selected to burlesque the whole, and he did it admirably. Then came the pistol-firing at three targets, under full speed, and finally the jumping over rails at different heights. The crowning of the queen of love and beauty and the four maids of honor was to come off last night at Montpelier, but the mother of the queen objected to her attending, and it was decided not to have any ceremony of the kind at all, but commence at once with the dancing. I went after the Misses B., of Gordonsville, who had entertained me so hospitably. Both were very much admired, and were pronounced to be the prettiest ladies present. Everything passed off very pleasantly, both at the tournament and dance, and daybreak found most of them on their way home. * *
near Petersburg, Va., September 29, 1864.* * * The enemy along the lines have been in motion ever since nine o'clock last night. There was heavy artillery and infantry firing to our left last night; and this afternoon there has been heavy cavalry skirmishing to our right. The enemy, I understand, have-possession of Fort Harrison, nearChafin's Bluff, on the north side of the James. We have been under marching orders all day and will probably get off to-night. Our destination is the north side of the James. From Dunlop's we go to Rice's by rail. We will probably soon be engaged in another deadly conflict. * * *
near battle-field on Jones' Farm, October 4, 1864.3 * * * Last Friday we had actually started for the north side of the James, and had crossed the Appomattox, when we were ordered back and sent to the right, as parts of the Fifth and Ninth  Yankee corps had advanced and driven our cavalry from the works recently constructed near the Peebles House. We moved out on the Boydton Plank-road, then to the left on the Harman road, and formed line of battle on the road leading from the Harman road to the Jones farm. McGowan and I formed the advance; McGowan being on the left of the road supported by Archer, and I on the right supported by McRae. It was a beautiful sight to see my sharp-shooters deploying in my front at a double-quick and boldly pushing forward. They engaged the enemy, and were sending back prisoners before we had formed the main line of battle. Their performance was witnessed by a great many outside of our brigade, and it elicited numerous compliments. It was very gratifying to me to hear these brave men thus highly complimented. The whole Yankee force gave way before our general advance and were easily driven back to the breast-works thrown up by them at the Pegram House in advance of those at the Peebles. They left the ground strewed with their dead and wounded, while our loss was small. Their dead are now estimated at two hundred and fifty, which, according to the usual calculation, one dead to seven wounded, would make their wounded one thousand seven hundred and fifty. We captured five hundred, all counted and receipted for; and, strange to say, the killed and captured were greater on the right of the road, where the much-laughed-at North Carolinians did the fighting. One of my regiments captured in Jones' cellar one ‘big dog,’ sixty privates and one officer. My right passed beyond some of the Yankees, and when we opened an oblique reverse fire upon them they all ‘skedaddled,’ and in attempting to get from us ran into the cavalry and were captured, many of them surrendering to McGregor's Horse Artillery, so he told me. Hampton got five hundred of this demoralized and panic-stricken crowd. I have never seen Yankees make better time than they did. My entire loss in this engagement was one hundred and eleven. That night McRae and Archer were withdrawn and joined their division. The plan was for Heth's whole division to move on the ‘Squirrel Level Road’ next morning and attack them in flank, while McGowan and I were to make a feint in front. When Heth's guns were heard next morning, Brander's guns opened an enfilade artillery fire on the advanced works at the Pegram House, and threw the enemy into confusion. My sharp shooters seized upon this opportunity and dashed into their works at a double-quick and captured over two hundred prisoners, including some dozen officers,  amongst whom was a colonel. We held this work until dark, and then fell back to our old position through the mud and rain. Heth did not meet with the anticipated success, although his was to have been the main attack. Stockton Heth, his aid, tells me that the enemy had fortified at right angles, and instead of taking them in flank, as was expected, it was like assaulting a work in front. They got only about twenty prisoners. That afternoon the cavalry had a fight on the right, and I suppose it was in this fight that General Dunnovant and Doctor Fontaine were killed. I am truly sorry to hear of the doctor's death; he was such a gallant man, and seemed to be the life of his family. Colonel Barbour, who was wounded by a stray bullet last Friday, just before we advanced, has since died. My aid, Lieutenant Meade, behaved very handsomely. Others than myself noticed him, and I have heard him spoken of in the most complimentary terms for his gallantry. Captain Nicholson took Captain Hale's place, and it was his first active fight under me, and he, too, behaved nobly. I selected him for my inspector-general on account of his face, which I thought was full of character. I was not mistaken, and I am very fond of him. * * *
near the battle-field on Jones' Farm, October 6, 1864.4 As I was advancing in the charge last Friday, I crossed a soldier kneeling over his dying brother, indifferent to his own great danger from the whistling bullets as he watched the gaspings of his dear one. He looked up into my face as I approached and said, ‘General may I stay with my brother—see he has been shot, I am no straggler.’ I replied, ‘I know what it is to lose a brother under similar circumstances, and I havn't the heart to order you forward. But your brother is shot through the head and is insensible—you can do him no good and you know the general orders, we have an ambulance corps for such cases.’ Not another word was spoken, and I moved on. That brave man soon afterwards seized his gun, left his dying brother, and as he passed me he said: ‘Here I am, general, I have thought over what you said and I am going to the front.’ He did go gallantly forward, and I have not been able to learn his name, though he belongs to the Seventh regiment. * * *
near Petersburg, Virginia, October 11, 1864.* * * Last Sunday I had an Episcopal minister with me, who comes from North Carolina not only to preach, but to visit the North Carolina hospitals, and give clothing to the sick and wounded from The ‘Old North State.’ At 2 o'clock that night we were all aroused from our sweet slumbers, and shivering with cold, were soon marching for Petersburg where an attack was expected. We reached the second line of works, near Reeve's salient, at daylight and lay in reserve all day long, subjected a part of the time to a shelling from mortars and rifle guns. We moved out of the works after dark and are now bivouacing near Battery 45. I was amused yesterday during the shelling to see some of our artillerists running out and picking up the fragments of shells. They collect large quantities of these and dispose of them to the founderies, getting eight cents a pound for the iron and ten for the lead. Five or six passed me during the day loaded down with fragments. The shelling of yesterday, where we were, was brought on by one of our Whitworth guns opening upon the Yankee train as it came in sight about three and a half miles distant. On the right the Yankees have destroyed all of the houses in front of their lines. * * * *
near Petersburg, Va., October 12, 1864.5 * * * Many of the Yankees in their flight in the recent fight cut the straps to their knapsacks and let them drop as they heeled it back. The battle-field was a rich one, and my brigade bears me out in the assertion, as they have a great many sugar-loaf hats, blue overcoats, oil-cloths, shelter-tents, &c., &c. It is said that one green Rebel went up to a dying Yankee, and stooping over him said, ‘Mister, may I have your coat?’ All of the dead that had on passable clothes were stripped; but the Yankee account about their bodies being mangled and beaten is a lie. I couldn't help laughing when I saw one of my little fellows with a Burnside hat on, many sizes too large for him. I could hardly see his head, as the brim of his hat nearly rested upon his shoulders. It is amusing to see a great many of them and to hear their remarks after such a fight. * *
near Petersburg, Va., October 14, 1864.* * * There was a great disposition on the part of some to pillage. The field being a rich one, offered many temptations to the men to stop. When I commenced upbraiding one of them for pillaging while his comrades were fighting, and ordered him forward, he replied he only wanted a blanket to sleep on these cold nights, and I could but be amused as he went running to the front with a fine Yankee blanket under his arm. They are all delighted with the fight, and laugh at the way they made the Yankee's run. I sent Lieutenant Meade to the right to tell the colonels to conform to the movements on the left, when the enemy opened a hot fire, and he had to ride through it all. It was at this time I expect he was most generally noticed, although he behaved very handsomely throughout the engagement. See Southern Historical Society State Papers, Volume IX, page 357. The aggregate number of killed and wounded and prisoners from my brigade, since the opening of this campaign on the 5th of May, amounts to something between seventeen and eighteen hundred. We have fought behind breastworks only once, and then only for a short time. We have charged the enemy's works four times, and our other big fighting has been mostly in flank movements. I have just cause to be proud of my command. It has a splendid reputation in the army. * * * * * *
near Petersburg, October 23, 1864.* * *General Cooper has revoked all details, and the able-bodied who have kept out of the army so long are now coming to the front, where all able-bodied Rebels ought to be, and stay until our liberties are secured. * * *
near Petersburg, December 3, 1864.* * * I was at Colonel Pegram's quarters yesterday afternoon to hear Bishop Lay. His text was the importance of the Holy Ghost, and the sermon was a most excellent one. Everything continues quiet in our front. Eight Yankee deserters  have surrendered to my command since my return. Desertions from the enemy are of nightly occurrence. Night before last there was loud cheering all along the Yankee line, and our men responded to it with deafening yells. A deserter told us that it was reported that Schofield had captured twenty thousand Georgia militia, and that they had been ordered to cheer. He also stated that there was great dissatisfaction in the Yankee army, and that more men would desert if they could get a chance. The Sixty-first New York was relieved a few nights since by another regiment, as it was feared that the greater part of it would come over to us. They complain of too much work and drilling and an insufficiency of rations, the latter causing them to spend all their money with the sutlers. I am sorry to say that several of our men have also deserted. The whistle of the Yankee trains is distinctly heard from where we are, and their bands and drum corps are constantly playing and beating within our hearing. See above letter of December 6, in corroboration. * *
near Petersburg, December 6, 1864.* * *Another Yankee deserter came over to us last night and corroborates the previous statement that the Sixty-first New York regiment was relieved a few nights ago about midnight by the Second from the same State, as they were afraid all of the Sixty-first would come over to us. The deserter this morning is a Scotchman and a member of the Second regiment, which relieved the Sixty-first. The Second and Fifth Yankee corps are on this part of the line, the Second having relieved the Ninth, which has gone into winter quarters in the rear, so it is stated. It is a thing of daily occurrence to see a Yankee general riding along the picket line, as the pickets do not fire at each other now. We are damming back the water on my left so as to strengthen our position, and we will, when both dams are completed, have a large sheet of water near us. The men all along the lines are kept constantly at work, making alterations in some parts, and reviewing others, so as to make them stand the effects of the winter better.
Lieutenant  Meade and I found our chimney, &c., all torn down and carried off, and we are now out of doors, sitting around a real camp-fire. We had to unload our wagon and send for a load of wood as soon as we arrived. My brigade did not leave camp until 9 o'clock P. M., Thursday, and marched until 6 o'clock P. M., Friday, before going into bivouac. When it was halted about two miles beyond the bridge over the Nottoway river it was hailing, and the poor fellows soon had up their little tents as a partial protection from the weather. We were in motion early next day through the mud, rain and sleet, and went into camp at dark about two miles beyond Jarratt's Station. Next day we returned to the bridge over the Nottoway, near a Mr. Wyatt's. Yesterday afternoon (Monday) we camped about a mile from Dinwiddie Court House, and to-day we reached our old camp again. Our division did not encounter any of the enemy, as we were in rear. Mahone's division struck the railroad about six miles below Jarratt's and four miles above Bellfield, while we, with Heth's in front, made for Jarratt's. The enemy had torn up the road and were beating a hasty retreat, leaving their cavalry to protect their rear. Only a few shots were exchanged, when they took the back track, and as their infantry had so much the start it was deemed useless to pursue. The movement was a terrible one upon our troops and transportation. The freeze was fortunate as regards the latter—otherwise we would hardly have been able to get the artillery and wagons back, as the roads had been badly cut up in our advance—in some places the wheels sinking below the hubs in mud. The rapid marching done by my brigade was wonderful—particularly the first night and day—when the condition of the roads is taken into consideration. Mahone and Heth both had the start of this division, but we succeeded in overtaking them Friday afternoon—some parts catching up with Heth's rear Thursday night. I was relieved of the division Friday afternoon by General Wilcox, just before the head of the division crossed the Nottoway river. While building a fire in the woods to keep warm until my brigade, which was the rear one of the division, came up, Mr. Wyatt came along and invited me to his house, where I took shelter for a short time and found it more pleasant than my bivouac in the woods the night previous. I was at the head of the division when it went into camp Thursday night, and was caught without a blanket and without anything to eat. I helped Major Hunt and one of the couriers to pick up a lot of dead pine with which we made a fire and before which I took a few ‘cat naps,’ in my overcoat until  daybreak. I have spent many more pleasant nights in my life. I did not get anything to eat until the following afternoon. Lieutenant Meade and I then took a few more ‘cat naps’ in the hail storm until 12 o'clock, when our wagon came up and we pitched our tent. Our rest for the balance of the night was such as soldiers only know how to enjoy. The weather has been so cold that it was impossible to ride, and I have been forced to do so much marching that my limbs would ache, and at times were painful to the touch. Captain Hale is back. Captain Nicholson did not go with us on the tramp on account of boils. Both can congratulate themselves at having escaped much suffering. * * *
Major Wooton ‘to catch two or three Yankees’ to find out where the Nineteenth Yankee corps is. I would not be surprised when he makes the attack on the enemy's skirmish line to hear a shell come whizzing or bursting over my new quarters. * * * *
near Petersburg, December 18, 1864.* * * Major Wooton succeeded in ‘catching’ eleven Yankees last night between two and three o'clock, and sustained no loss whatever. He advanced to within a hundred yards of their skirmish pits, under cover of the darkness, fired several volleys and then charged with a yell. No shelling occurred on either side, and the Yankees fired but few minnies before they ‘skedaddled’ from their pits. The darkness prevented the capture of a large number, although the Major caught more than he was requested to do. When he started back the Yankees at the main line commenced yelling ‘Oh, you Rebs’! which could be distinctly heard at our headquarters. Major Wooton announced the result of the charge in the following modest little note: ‘According to instructions, I forward you eleven Yankees.’ He is certainly one of the most successful, most gallant, most unassuming  and most modest officers that I have ever seen. He is worth a million of the stay-at-home somebodies. The Yankee salute seems to have been in honor of Hood's defeat by Thomas, instead of the fall of Savannah, although we of the army are daily expecting to hear of the latter disaster also. We were not prepared for Hood's defeat. Lieutenant Meade and myself are living in two nicely-pitched tents, which are joined together and open into each other, The back tent is used as a sleeping apartment, and the front one, which has a nice brick chimney to it, is our sitting room. When we get the floors and doors completed we will be very comfortably fixed. Our chamber is furnished with a plank floor, a bedstead and blankets, two trunks and a clothes pole (suspended from the ridge pole), which serves as an excellent ventillating wardrobe. In the front tent may be seen an old camp-table, a few chairs, an old bent tin candle-stick, an inkstand and pens, tobacco and pipes, and sometimes a great deal of smoke. We intend having sawdust walks connecting the various tents and the kitchen, and I have some idea of surrounding our quarters with a wattled cedar fence to keep off the winds. Our stables were commenced to-day. * * * *
near Petersburg, December 22, 1864.I was not at all sorry when I learned that we had to turn back on our recent march without a fight. I was far from anxious to get into an engagement, as the probability is that all my severely wounded would have died on account of the exposure. I was fearful I would be made sick, but I am all right, and enjoy my hard camp fare very much. We are living harder now than we have been doing since I have been in the army. Last night was a terribly cold one. *
near Petersburg, December 31, 1864.Tell the kind donors, with thanks, that the box reached us in very good time, as the soldiers have been living on short rations for the past few days; for three days they had no meat issued to them at all. My brigade has kind friends at home, and Christmas boxes have been pouring in. Sometimes they have to lay a day or two at  the depot for want of transportation. I alway let my headquarter wagon go to help haul them out. The State is also trying to get vegetables to her soldiers. Governor Vance now has a large quantity of sorghum lying at Greensboroa awaiting transportation. He says he is willing to send his ‘tar-heels’ a great many things to help along, if they will only furnish him with the requisite transportation. I really believe the North Carolina soldiers fare better than any other in this army, as much as some ignorant people are disposed to laugh at the ‘Old North State.’ The commissary sometimes issues us cooked beef, prepared and canned in London. The soldiers call it ‘The London Times,’ and are very fond of it. It makes an excellent hash and is superior to any other meat-ration that is issued. * * The mantle-piece adds very much to the appearance of our sitting-room. Some of the saw-dust walks have been finished and our stables were completed to-day just in time for the snow. ‘Old Jim’ and the rest of the animals are, no doubt, very thankful, as they, like the soldiers, have been on very short rations for several days past. When not sitting before a nice fire I enjoy myself now in royal slumbers on our French bedstead, which is filled with clean, fine straw, covered with an ample supply of blankets. An officer in the Thirty-third played an amusing joke on a fellow officer of the Thirty-seventh not long since. Norwood, upon whom the joke was played, is the same gallant young officer that escaped wounded from the Gettysburg hospital, disguised as an overgrown Dutch boy, and when taken to army headquarters, General Lee invited him to breakfast in his ridiculous suit. * * *
near Petersburg, April 1, 1865.* * There was fighting on the right yesterday and the day previous. I am told that we drove the enemy, but have not been able to learn any of the particulars. Colonel McCreary, of McGowan's brigade, the same officer that occupied the room with Lieutenant Lane at the hospital last summer, was killed yesterday. Lieutenant-Colonel Croft, of the same brigade, lost a little toe, and Colonel Ashford, of Scales' brigade, was also wounded. Day before yesterday both artillery and infantry fought while it was pouring down rain. There is some skirmishing this morning. My brigade is stretched along the lines—all hoping that we will be allowed to remain  where we are. Yesterday a few shots were fired into our right. The sharp-shooters carrying that hill last Monday, supported by my brigade, is the cause, I think, of McGowan's brigade being sent to the right instead of mine—his men were 8fresher. It delighted me last Saturday to see how my men rushed forward with a yell from Mahone's old quarters when I ordered them to the front to reinforce the main line of works after the enemy had swept Thomas's skirmish line. Saturday's fight along our front was a novel one, and was confined almost entirely to the skirmish line, in full view of our main line of works. The enemy that day used very little artillery along our front. The artillery firing was principally from our side, and our men would always put up a shout whenever one of our shells exploded in the enemy's lines, and particularly when they became demoralized and commenced running back. Wilcox is for duty again. He had a horse killed yesterday by a stray Minnie. I do not know whether he was on him or not. I hope he is able to resume active command of his division and let me return to my brigade. Heth is in command of the troops from Hill's corps on the right, consisting of parts of his own division and Wilcox's. * *
Petersburg at midnight on the 26th February, 1865; went to Randolph county, N. C., and was quite successfully engaged in arresting and returning absentees to their commands, until called to meet Stoneman, then threatening the railroad from Salisbury to Danville. On Sunday, April 16, 1865, ‘Cooke's and Lane's detachments’ (Seventh and Forty-sixth North Carolina regiments), Lieutenant-Colonel A. C. McAllister commanding, reported to General D. H. Hill, Lee's corps, army of Tennessee, and surrendered with them near Greensboroa, N. C. On the 29th we turned over four-fifths of the arms, retaining one-fifth. Officers were allowed their side-arms. Thirteen (13) commissioned officers and one hundred and thirty-nine  (139) enlisted men belonging to the Seventh were paroled on 1st May, 1865. Major J. G. Harris was in command of the regiment, and commanded it oftener in the battle and on the march than any officer in it. The gallant Captain J. McLeod Turner was paralyzed by the wound received at Gettysburg, and walked with the aid of crutches until his death, some three years since. Wishing you success for the future, and that your last days may be your best days, I am, truly, your friend,
J. S. Harris, Captain Company B, Seventh North Carolina Troops.