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History of Lane's brigade. (conclusion.)

By General James H. Lane.

Brigade commanders.

This Brigade had only two regular commanders, General L. O'B. Branch, of North Carolina, and myself. General Branch commanded it from its organization until he was killed at Sharpsburg. I then took charge of it on the field and continued in command until the close of the war. When I was wounded, in the summer of 1864, it was temporarily commanded by Colonels John D. Barry and W. H. A. Speers, and Brigadier-General Conner.

General Branch entered the service as Quartermaster-General of North Carolina, was appointed Colonel of the Thirty-third North Carolina Troops, and afterwards made Brigadier-General and put in command at Newberne. He was in command at Newberne in 1862, when it was attacked, and had charge of his brigade in all of its battles from its organization to Sharpsburg. He was a very gallant General, stood [242] high in the estimation of his superior officers, and I often heard would have been promoted but for his untimely death.

General A. P. Hill, in his report of the battle of Sharpsburg, says: “The Confederacy has to mourn the loss of a gallant soldier and accomplished gentleman, who fell in this battle, at the head of his brigade, Brigadier-General L. O'B. Branch of North Carolina. He was my senior brigadier, and one to whom I could have entrusted the command of the division with all confidence.”

General Lee, in his report of the same battle, says: “In this attack the brave and lamented Brigadier-General L. O'B. Branch was killed, gallantry leading his brigade.”

The following is taken from the September No. 1874 of “Our Living and our Dead.”

From the correspondence of General L. O'B. Branch.

Extract from a private letter written four miles from Fairfax court-house, fifteen miles from Washington, D. C.

Since I wrote you last, we have been almost constantly in the enemy's rear, and communication with home has been impossible. We have performed the most remarkable marches recorded in history. If we had not the actual experience it would not be credited that human nature could endure what we have endured. Fighting all day and marching all night — not for one day only, but for a whole week. The little sleep we have had has been on the battle field surrounded by the dead and wounded. Some of the soundest sleep I have ever had, has been on the naked ground, without cover, and the rain pouring down in torrents. The only rations we have had for a week are fresh beef — our wagon trains can't keep up with us. My brigade has been in nearly every battle, sometimes in the lead, and always among the foremost. It has suffered severely, but has behaved splendidly. I go with them in every battle, and in all the hail of bullets I have gone though, have not had my skin broken.

At Manassas my brigade had the satisfaction of whipping Burnside, and taking prisoners from him two days in succession.

Twice our corps has passed entirely around the enemy, getting between him and Washington, and destroying countless quantities of his stores. At Manassas we burned one hundred and fifty loaded cars.

No brigade in the service has been in as many battles, and done so much hard service as mine.


Extract from a private letter from Frederick City, Maryland.

Having driven the enemy from Virginia, we are now at the old capital of Maryland. Our corps has thus far continued in advance.

We crossed the Potomac day before yesterday and continued the march until 10 o'clock at night, when we turned in a field for the night.

General Jackson sent me an order to have two days provisions cooked immediately. I sent him word we had nothing to cook, and would be glad to know where I could get something for my men. He sent word back that I should send the men into a cornfield near by to fill their haversacks with roasting ears. I did so, and told him we would be ready to march in two hours. Before daylight we were off, and reached here by the middle of the day.

Such is the character of the service this corps has been rendering — marching, fighting and starving — almost incessantly, night and day. I would not have believed, without actual experience, that flesh, blood and muscle could stand what we have stood.

I have been for several days in command of the division. I crossed the Potomac at the head of six brigades, composing about half of General Jackson's corps.

Extract from a private letter written at Frederick, Maryland, September 8th, 1862.

We have done so much hard fighting since crossing the Rappahannock that I cannot undertake to give particulars. In the fight of Friday, near Manassas, General Gregg's brigade was on my right. He had repulsed an attack on his line, and was again furiously assailed by a fresh column. Seeing the enemy were concentrating their efforts at that point I extended my line so as to place one of my regiments (the Thirty-seventh) behind him, and informed him I would support him if he should need it. In a few minutes General Gregg's brigade came back retreating and the enemy in close pursuit. General Gregg then asked me for support. I ordered Colonel Barbour to advance with the Thirty-seventh and to assail the enemy on meeting them. Without halting I ran across the road, under a hail-storm of shot, for another regiment. The Seventh was nearest. Calling for Colonel Haywood I learned that he was already wounded, and calling on the Seventh to follow me I led it to the support of the Thirty-seventh. These regiments swept the enemy back in almost the twinkling of an [244] eye, regaining the ground lost by General Gregg and reestablishing our line at that point. The enemy made six distinct attacks on this point, with as many fresh columns, but did not succeed in breaking it.

In the meantime we had been reinforced, and at this place the fiercest battle of the war took place. During the two last attacks I had not a round of ammunition in my brigade, and all I could do was to stand in line of battle with bayonet fixed, determined to receive them in that way if they should break the line before me. General Gregg and his officers in the strongest terms thanked me, and said I had saved the day and saved them from a rout. When I wanted to throw out pickets I had all the cartridge-boxes examined and could only find twenty-four cartridges in the brigade. I placed a regiment on picket with orders to give the twenty-four cartridges to twelve picked men and the balance of the regiment should stand guard with fixed bayonets. Ask your father if he stood on picket in the war of 1812 with fixed bayonets and no powder, within four hundred yards of the enemy. The expedition of Jackson's corps from the Rappahannock to Manassas and thence to this place is the most daring and extraordinary in the history of wars.

Brigadier-General James H. Lane entered the service as Adjutant of the First North Carolina, camp of instruction at Raleigh; was elected Major of the First North Carolina Volunteers, “Bethel regiment,” May 11, 1861; was elected Lieutenant-Colonel of the same regiment September 1st, 1861; was elected Colonel of the Twenty-eighth North Carolina regiment September 21, 1861; was re-elected Colonel of the same regiment when it reorganized in the spring of 1862, and was appointed Brigadier-General November 1st, 1862, on the recommendation of Generals Lee, Jackson and A. P. Hill.

camp Fisher, high point, September 21, 1861.
Lieutenant-Colonel James H. Lane:
Dear Sir,--You were unanimously elected Colonel of the Twenty-eighth North Carolina Volunteers this evening. This regiment is composed of the following companies, enlisted for twelve months:

Co. A, Surry county, Captain Reeves (Major elect).

Co. B, Gaston county, Captain Edwards.

Co. C, Catawba county, Captain Lowe, (Lieutenant-Colonel elect).

Co. D, Stanley county, Captain Montgomery.

Co. E, Montgomery county, Captain Barringer.

Co. F, Yadkin county, Captain Kinyoun.

Co. G, Orange county, Captain Martin. [245]

Co. H, Cleveland county, Captain Wright.

Co. I, Yadkin county, Captain Speer.

Co. K, Stanly county, Captain Moody.

You will see that most of us are “Mountain boys,” and we trust that we do not disgrace the home from which we come. It would afford us great pleasure and satisfaction to have for our leader an officer so well and favorably known for bravery, courtesy and professional attainments as Lieutenant-Colonel Lane, of the gallant “Bethel” regiment. Permit us to express our personal hope that we may receive a favorable reply as soon as possible and to subscribe ourselves,

Your obedient servants,

S. M. Stowe, Major Commanding Post, Wm. J. Montgomery, Captain Co. D., G. B. Johnston, First Lieut. Co. G., Committee in behalf of the Twenty-eighth Regiment.

Richmond, October 14, 1861.
My Dear Colonel:--By General Anderson I send you the best sword I could find in Richmond; also a saddle, bridle, &c., by express.

It is a present from the old First Regiment, as a slight token of their kind feelings and regards for you both personally and officially. Captains Avery and McDowell, Lieutenant Lewis and myself were appointed a committee to procure the articles, and I was deputed to proceed to Richmond and purchase them. I have left with your sister a pair of very neat goblets, thinking that you would prefer having them there to keeping them with you. * * * * *

I am, sincerely your friend,

camp Gregg, Va., March 28, 1863.
Brigadier-General James H. Lane, Commanding Fourth Brigade:
I have the honor to announce to you in behalf of my brother officers of this brigade, that on Monday next, the 30th inst., at 11 o'clock A. M., we will be pleased to present you with a sword, sash, saddle and bridle, as a token of respect for you as our commander, and high appreciation of your many gentlemanly and soldierly qualities.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Sam. D. Lowe, Colonel Commanding Twenty-eighth N. C. Regiment, and Chairman of Committee.


Roster of the field and staff from the organization of the brigade and regiment to the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.

Brigadiers: L. O'B. Branch, James H. Lane.

Aids: W. A Blount, Oscar Lane, J. Rooker Lane (acting), Everard B. Meade.

A. A. Generals: W. E. Cannaday, Francis T. Hawks, George B. Johnston, Edward J. Hale, Jr.

A. I. General: Ed. T. Nicholson.

Ordinance Officer: James A. Bryan.

Quartermasters: Joseph A. Engelhard, George S. Thompson, A. D. Cazaux (acting), E. W. Herndon.

Commissaries: Daniel T. Carraway, Thomas Hall McKoy.

Surgeons: James A. Miller, Robert Gibbon, J. F. McRee, Ed. G. Higginbotham, Wesley M. Campbell, George E. Trescot.

Seventh regiment.

Colonels: Reuben P. Campbell, Ed. Graham Haywood, William Lee Davidson.

Lieutenant-Colonels: Ed. Graham Haywood, Junius L. Hill, Wm. Lee Davidson, J. McLeod Turner.

Majors: Edward D. Hall, Junius L. Hill, Robert S. Young, Robert B. McRae, Wm. Lee Davidson, J. McLeod Turner, James G. Harris.

Adjutants: J. A. Cunningham, John E. Brown, Frank D. Stockton, Ives Smedes, John M. Pearson.

Quartermasters; William A. Eliason, John Hughes.

Commissaries: William H. Sanford, Thos. Hall McKoy.

Surgeon: Wesley M. Campbell.

Assistant Surgeons: William Ed. White, Alfred W. Wiseman, J. R. Fraley.

Chaplain: M. M. Marshall.

Eighteenth regiment.

Colonels: James D. Radcliffe, Robert H. Cowan, Thomas J. Purdie, John D. Barry.

Lieutenant-Colonels: O. P. Meares, Thomas J. Purdie, Forney George, John W. McGill.

Majors: George Tait, Forney George, R. M. DeVane, John D. Barry, Thomas J. Wooten. [247]

Adjutants: Charles D. Myers, Samuel B. Walters, William H. McLaurin.

Quartermaster: A. D. Cazaux.

Commissaries: Duncan McNeil, Robert Tait.

Surgeons: James A. Miller, John Tazwell Tyler, Thomas B. Lane.

Assistant-Surgeons: Charles Lecesne, William Brower, Alexander Gordon, Simpson Russ.

Chaplain: Colin Shaw.

Twenty-eighth regiment.

Colonels: James H. Lane, Samuel D. Lowe, William H. A. Speer.

Lieutenant-Colonels: Thomas L. Lowe, Samuel D. Lowe, William D. Barringer, William H. A. Speer.

Majors: Richard E. Reeves, Samuel D. Lowe, William J. Montgomery, William D. Barringer, William H. A. Speer, Samuel N. Stowe.

Adjutants: Duncan A. McRae, Romulus S. Folger.

Quartermasters: George S. Thompson, Durant A. Parker.

Commissary: Nicholas Gibbon.

Surgeons: Robert Gibbon. J. F. McRee, W. W. Gaither.

Assistant Surgeons: F. N. Luckey, R. G. Barham, Thomas B. Lane, N. L. Mayo.

Chaplains: Oscar J. Brent, F. Milton Kennedy, D. S. Henkel.

Thirty-third regiment.

Colonels: L. O'B. Branch, Clark M. Avery, Robert V. Cowan.

Lieutenant-Colonels: Clark M. Avery, Robert F. Hoke, Robert V. Cowan, Joseph H. Saunders.

Majors: Robert F. Hoke, W. Gaston Lewis, Robert V. Cowan, Thomas W. Mayhew, Joseph H. Saunders, James A. Weston.

Adjutants: John M. Poteat, Spier Whitaker, Jr.

Quartermasters: Joseph A. Engelhard, John M. Poteat, John R. Sudderth.

Commissaries: J. A. Gibson, Robert A. Hauser.

Surgeons: R. B. Baker, J. H. Shaffner, Ed. G. Higginbotham.

Assistant Surgeons: J. H. Shaffner, John A. Vigal, J. L. McLean.

Chaplain: T. J. Eatmon.

Thirty-seventh regiment.

Colonels: Charles C. Lee, William M. Barbour. [248]

Lieutenant-Colonels: William M. Barbour, John B. Ashcraft, William G. Morris.

Majors: John G. Bryan, Charles N. Hickerson, William R. Rankin, John B. Ashcraft, William G. Morris, O. N. Brown, Jackson L. Bost.

Adjutants: William T. Nicholson, David W. Oates.

Quartermasters: Robert M. Oates, Miles P. Pegram.

Commissaries: Herbert DeLambert Stowe, Miles P. Pegram.

Surgeons: James Hickerson, George E. Trescot.

Assistant Surgeons: J. W. Tracy, J. B. Alexander, G. B. Moffitt, Daniel McL. Graham.

Chaplain: A. L. Stough.

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James H. Lane (9)
L. O'B. Branch (8)
Samuel D. Lowe (5)
Maxey Gregg (5)
William H. A. Speer (4)
William J. Montgomery (3)
Stonewall Jackson (3)
Edward Graham Haywood (3)
William Lee Davidson (3)
Robert V. Cowan (3)
John D. Barry (3)
William D. Barringer (3)
William M. Barbour (3)
Clark M. Avery (3)
J. McLeod Turner (2)
George E. Trescot (2)
George S. Thompson (2)
J. H. Shaffner (2)
Joseph H. Saunders (2)
Richard E. Reeves (2)
Thomas J. Purdie (2)
John M. Poteat (2)
Miles P. Pegram (2)
William G. Morris (2)
James A. Miller (2)
J. F. McRee (2)
Thomas Hall McKoy (2)
Fitzhugh Lee (2)
Thomas B. Lane (2)
George B. Johnston (2)
Robert F. Hoke (2)
Junius L. Hill (2)
Ambrose P. Hill (2)
Edward G. Higginbotham (2)
Robert Gibbon (2)
Forney George (2)
Joseph A. Engelhard (2)
A. D. Cazaux (2)
Wesley M. Campbell (2)
John B. Ashcraft (2)
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Marcus J. Wright (1)
Thomas J. Wooten (1)
Alfred W. Wiseman (1)
William Edward White (1)
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John A. Vigal (1)
John Tazwell Tyler (1)
J. W. Tracy (1)
Robert Tait (1)
George Tait (1)
John R. Sudderth (1)
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James D. Radcliffe (1)
John M. Pearson (1)
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Robert M. Oates (1)
David W. Oates (1)
William T. Nicholson (1)
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G. B. Moffitt (1)
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Robert B. McRae (1)
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William H. McLaurin (1)
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Charles Lecesne (1)
Kinyoun (1)
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E. W. Herndon (1)
D. S. Henkel (1)
Francis T. Hawks (1)
Robert A. Hauser (1)
James G. Harris (1)
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Edward J. Hale (1)
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T. J. Eatmon (1)
R. M. DeVane (1)
J. A. Cunningham (1)
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