Transcription

Auburn University Archives and Manuscripts Department



 

Lane's Report--Appomattox Surrender (April 9, 1865)



Appomattox C.H. Apl 10th 1865

Major.

I have the honor to report that on the night of the 1st of April, four Regiments of my Brigade, with intervals between the men varying from six to ten paces, were stretched along the works between Battery Gregg & Hatcher's Run in the following order from right to left, 28th, 37th, 18th, 33rd. The right of the 28th rested near the brown house in front of Genl. McRae's winter quarters, & the left of the 33rd on the branch near Mrs. Banks'. The enemy commenced shelling my line from several batteries about 9 o'clock that night, & the picket lines in my front opened fire at a quarter to 2 o'clock the following morning. The skirmishers from McGowan's Brigade, who covered the works held by my command, were driven in at a quarter to five o'clock, & my line was pierced by the enemy in strong force at the ravine in front of the right of the 37th near Genl. McGowans Hd. Qrs. The 28th, enfiladed on the left by this force & on the right by the force that had previously broken the troops to our right, was forced to fall back to the Plank Road. The enemy on its left took possession of this Road, & forced it to fall still further back to the Cox Road, where
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it skirmished with the enemy & supported a Battery of Artillery by order of Brig. Genl. Pendleton. The other Regiments fought the enemy between McGowan's winter quarters & those occupied by my Brigade, & were driven back; they then made a stand in the winter quarters of the right Regiment of my Command, but were again broken, a part retreating along the works to the left, & the remainder going to the rear - these last, under Col. Cowan, made a stand on the hill to the right of Mrs. Banks, but were forced back to the Plank Road, along which they skirmished for some time, & then fell back to the Cox Road, where they supported a Battery of Artillery by order of Lt. Genl. Longstreet. That portion of my Command which retreated along the works to the left, made two more unsuccessful attempts to resist the enemy, the last stand being made in the Church Road leading to the Jones House. It then fell back to Battery Gregg & the Battery to its left, but under Maj. Wooten & assisted by a part of Thomas' Brigade, it soon after charged the enemy, by order of Maj. Genl. Wilcox, & cleared the works as far as the branch on which the left of the 33rd rested the night previous. Here we were rejoined by Col. Cowan, & we deployed as skirmishers to the left of the Church Road & perpendicular to the works, but did not hold this position long, as we were
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attacked by a strong line of skirmishers, supported by two strong lines of battle; a part of us retreated to Battery Gregg, & the rest to the new line of works near the "Dam." Battery Gregg was subsequently attacked by an immense force, & fell after the most gallant & desperate defence, our men bayonetted many of the enemy as they mounted the parapet. After the fall of this Battery, the rest of my command, along the new line, was attacked in front & flank, & driven back to the old line of works running N.W. from Battery 45, where it remained until the evacuation of Petersburg. We were here rejoined by the 28th under Capt. Linebarger.
On the afternoon of the 3rd we crossed the Appomattox at Good's Bridge, bivouaced at Amelia C.H. on the 4th, & on the 5th formed line of battle between Amelia C.H. & Jetersville, where our Sharp Shooters, under Maj. Wooten, became engaged. Next day, while resting in Farmville, we were ordered back to a fortified hill to support our cavalry which was hard pressed, but before reaching the hill, the order was countermanded, we were moved rapidly through Farmville, & sustained some loss from the Artillery fire, while crossing the river near that place. That afternoon we formed line of battle, facing to the rear, between one & two miles from Farmville & my Sharp Shooters were attacked by the enemy. During the night we resumed our march, & on the 9th, while
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forming line of battle, we were ordered back & directed to stack our arms, as the Army of Northern Virginia had been surrendered.

My officers & men behaved well throughout this trying campaign, & superiority in numbers alone enabled the enemy to drive us from our works near Petersburg. Col. Cowan, though indisposed was constantly with his command, & displayed his usual gallantry, while Maj. Wooten nobly sustained his enviable reputation as an officer. We have to mourn the loss of Captains Nicholson, Faine, McAulay & Long, & other gallant officers. Capt. E.J. Hale Jr. A.A.G. & 1st Lt. E.B. Meade A.D.C. were constantly at their posts; displaying great bravery, & giving additional evidence of their efficiency as Staff Officers.

I am unable to give our exact loss at Petersburg. I surrendered at this point fifty six (56) officers, & four hundred & eighty four (484) men, many of the latter being detailed non arms bearing men, who were sent back to be surrendered with their Brigade.

The 7th, the other regiment of my Command, is absent in North Carolina, on detached service.

I am Major
Very respectfully
Your Obdt. Servt.
James H. Lane.
Brig. Genl.


[To:]  Maj. Jos. A. Engelhard.
A.A.G.