Head Quarters Lane's Brigade
September 20th 1864
I have the honor to report that we left the Church in the neighborhood of Spotsylvania C.H. after dark on the 21st of May, marched until 2 O'clock that night, resumed our march at 4 1/2 O'clock on the morning of the 22nd & bivouaced about noon that day near Hewlett's Station on the Central Rail Road. At 6 o'clock A.M. on the 23rd we moved still further down the Rail Road and, about noon, went into Camp close to the South Anna River and near Anderson's station.
That afternoon we were ordered up the Rail Road, formed line of battle on the right of McGowan perpendicular to the road, and threw forward a portion of our Sharp Shooters - the 7th Regt. was soon afterwards detached to guard a ford on the River. We were subsequently ordered still further up the Road - our sharp Shooters being left deployed in front of our old position - formed line of battle again on McGowan's right, but this time parallel to the Rail Road and with skirmishers thrown forward, advanced upon the enemy at Jericho Ford in the following order from right to left - 18th, 37th, 33rd, 28th. We soon drove in the enemy's skirmishers and, after advancing about 400 yards into the woods in our front, we became actively engaged with their main line of battle posted on a commanding ridge. When a portion of the troops on our left gave way, I at once apprised Genl. Wilcox of the fact through my Adjt. Genl. Captn. Hale. The General replied that it was not so and ordered me to push on - we were then in advance of McGowan's Brigade. Soon after this order was received, the 37th N.C. Regt. of my own Command broke in a disgraceful manner and ran back. I then ordered the other three regiments back to the edge of the woods where the 37th was being rallied as my line was broken and there was no one on my left. Having reformed the line, in obedience to orders from Genl. Wilcox, I again advanced it into the woods when the 37th again broke and ran in a still more shameful and disgraceful manner. The other three Regiments, however, in both advances, held their ground and fought very gallantly until ordered back. While the 18th, 28th & 33rd Regiments all fell back in a cool and orderly manner, Let. Col. Cowan is deserving special praise for the handsome manner in which he withdrew the 33rd - the attention of his men being constantly called to Co. "B" of that Regiment which, under its brave Commander Captn. E. Price, was marching by the rear rank with arms shouldered as though it were on drill. We reformed the second time in the open field in rear of the woods, advanced again to the edge of the woods, threw out a strong line of skirmishers and succeeded in bringing off all our dead and wounded. We were relieved that night about 11 o'clock by Davis' Brigade of Heth's Division. We then formed on the Rail Road and commenced fortifying but, before day, we were moved to Anderson's Station where we intrenched and remained until the 27th.
I regret to have to state that Lieut. H. I. Costner Co. "B" 28th Regt. was killed in this engagement. Let. Costner was a brave officer and conscientious in the discharge of all his duties.
Lieut. Jno. M. Cochrane Co. "D." 37th Regt. behaved very handsomely notwithstanding the cowardice displayed by his Company Commander Lieut. A. I. Bost.
List of Casualties on the 23rd of May at Jericho Ford.
Officers Killed28th Regt. - Lieut. H. I. Costner, Co. "B"Officers Wounded28th Regt. - Lieut. R.D. Rhyne, Co "B"On the 27th we left Anderson's and bivouaced that night near Ashland. Next morning we resumed our march at 3 O'clock and camped that afternoon near Shady Grove Church, where we remained until the afternoon of the 29th when we were ordered back a short distance and bivouaced for the night near Atlee's. Next morning we formed line of battle on the right of McGowan and intrenched near the Rail Road. On the 31st we were ordered to Stowe's farm on the Fottapottamoi Creek near Pole Green Church where we relieved Wofford's Brigade. We there were engaged in very heavy skirmishing all that day besides being subjected to a terrible artillery fire, losing about twenty Killed and wounded.
33rd " - Captn. I. A. Weston Co. "F", Lt. I. W. Gibbs, Co. "F."
37th " - Lieut. I. B. Somerville Co. "B", Lt. I. M. Grimsley, Co "K"
On the 1st of June we moved back and built a new line of works, the old one being held by a strong line of skirmishers. Next day we marched to Cold Harbour where we intrenched on the second line. That afternoon we supported Wharton's Brigade of Breckenridge's Division in its advance upon Turkey Ridge & afterwards took position between that Brigade and Thomas on the right near the McGee house. Here I was wounded by one of the enemy's Sharp shooters and the Command of the Brigade devolved upon Col. Jno. D. Barry.
Casualties from May 24th to June 3rd inclusive -
Officers WoundedGenl. Staff - Brig. Genl. James H. Lane
7th Regt. - Captn. J. S. Harris, Co "B"; Let. I. M. Alexander, Co "H"
18th " - Lieut. Camden Lewis, Co. "B"
37th " - Lieut. A. T. Yaudle, Co. I.Respectfully,
James H. Lane
Maj. Jos. A. Englehard
A.A.G. of Wilcox's Let. Div.
--Transcriptions made by Terri Stout-Stevens, Pfafftown, NC, in 1997 and 1998. Edited by Marty Olliff, Assistant Archivist, Auburn University, who takes all responsibility for any errors.
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