Battle Reports - Lane's Brigade - Petersburg (June 22, 1864)

These reports concern the Jerusalem Plank Road Engagement .

"On June 22, 1864 Lane's Brigade took part in an engagement on the Jerusalem Plank Road that prevented the Federals from gaining a lodgment on the vital Petersburg & Weldon Railroad."  (Louis H. Manarin, "28th NC Regimental History," in Weymouth T. Jordan, Jr., ed., North Carolina Troops 1861-1865, A Roster.  Volume VIII, Infantry, 27th-31st Regiments [North Carolina Division of Archives and History])

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7th Regiment Report 
18th Regiment Report 
33rd Regiment Report 
37th Regiment Report

Hd. Qtrs & C. Sept 23 1864

Genl. Wilcox has called on me for a "synopsis" of what we did on the 22d of June - seining.  Will you be kind enough to send me, for my use, a short account of what you and your corps did on that occasion.  Please let it cover these three points, viz: 1st, How far do you think it was from the road where we first formed line of battle to the point where we (7th & 33d Regts) fought the enemy in their works; 2nd, How long did the fight last; 3d, Did you or any of  your officers or men see the yankee breastworks?

You might [sketch] it below here.  If you can make it out at once you will greatly oblige me.

Yours, E.J. Hale, Jr. A.A.G.

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(Bottom of same page) [Editor's Note: This reply comes from the Regiment of Sharpshooters]
Sept 24 1864

Capt: I am sorry that I cannot give you a complete report of our "seining" this 22nd June.  I did not get to the skirmishers till they were very near the Yankee works.  Lt. Pearson says it was better in a 1/4 and 1/2 mile from where we first formed to the place where we fought them.  When I reached the skirmish line the Yankee skirmishers, it seems had fled within their works, as they did not open on our Advancing line.  We advanced without being fired upon, to the edge of a field; here, I halted the line, and ordered them to lie down, till I could report to Col Barry, what was in my front.  On the right of my line, I am confident the enemies works were not more than fifty y'ds distant, and from the left about one-hundred.  I saw several stands of Colors along their lines before the Brigade came up but could see no men;  On my right the line of "Battle" (Scales), did not come up to skirmish line, and on this account several of our wounded fell into the hands of the enemy.  The Brigade was engaged 3/4 of an hr. before it fell back from the edge of the woods.  Their works was visible along my whole line.  A portion of my line was in front of Scales.

Very  Res.
T. J. Wooten

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7th Regt N.C.T.
Sept. 24th 1864

I have the honor very respectfully to submit the following report of the operations of this Regiment on the 22nd day of June 1864.

After leaving the Rail Road we marched down a small country road about one mile and a half formed a line of battle paralell to the road.  Skirmishers were thrown foreward at this point and we were ordered to advance.  After moving say between a mile, and a mile & half we came up to the enemy strongly entrenched in our front.  We were here halted and the enemy having opened a brisk fire on us, we returned the fire with considerable spirit for the space of an hour.  The enemy were certainly strongly entrenched.  I not only saw the works myself, but every officer consulted by me, declare most positively that the enemy had works.  My instructions when ordered to advance, were to be guided by the Regiment on my right, and consequently when the right gave way, I ordered the Regt to fall back in good order which it did not a man straggling to the rear.

I am, Capt. very Respectfully
Your Ob't Ser'vt
J.G. Harris
Capt [etc., etc.]

Capt. E.J. Hale Jr.

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Hd Qrs 18th N.C.T.
Sept 24th 1864

I have the honor to submit the following account of the action of the 18th NC Regiment in the Engagement of the 22nd June 1864 near Wilcox's Farm, Va.

About 11 oclock A.M. on the 22nd of June 1864 the Regiment was ordered to march.  Leaving its position in line between batteries no. 34 & 35 and following in rear of the 7th N.C. Regiment.  About 2 oclock P.M. a Halt was ordered and the Regiment was formed in to Line of Battle on the Left of the 7th Regiment and on the right of the 28th.  The Line being formed, the order was given to advance.  At a distance of nearly one mile from the point where the line was formed [the] 28th and the left of 18th came up with and drove in the Enemy's line of skirmishers taking some prisoners  At a short distance from where the skirmishers of the enemy were formed the Regiment was fired into by this Line of Battle and in compliance with instructions from Col Barry then comd'g the Brigade the Regiment was ordered to lay down (at about seventy yards from the enemy's line) and not to return the enemys ["enemys" overwritten with "his"] fire unless he attempted to advance.  The Regiment lay thus in line, exposed to a very severe fire for about three fourths (3/4) of an hour when it was ordered to retire.  The Casualties in this action were two (2) men killed and two (2) wounded.  The officers & men behaved with coolness and their usual determination.

I am very Respectfully
Your Obdt Servant
[W.] M. McGill
Lt. Col. Comdg 18th NCT

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I send you a short & imperfect sketch of the fight of the 22d of June.  I supposed it is only for you and therefore was not so particular.  If you wish it to go to Div Hd qrs or if I have omitted any thing please send it back to me.  I can find an officer who was in skirmish, and will swear that he saw the works
In haste
R.V. Cowan
Col 33d

Hd qrs 33d N.C.
Sept 22d, 1864


I have the honor to submit the following report of the part borne by my Regt in the fight of June 22nd 1864.  After leaving the R. Road we were marched some distance, and then formed in line of battle on the left of Gen Scales' Brigd.  My orders were to be governed by the movements of that Brigade.  Marched with it for, I think, about a half of a mile, (some of my officers think it was more) skirmishing with the enemy.  Finally came upon the enemy in his works.  Here we halted & fought for at least 30 minutes, when the Brigade on my right withdrew.  After I was certain they (Scales Brigade) had gone I ordered my Regt to retire which was done in as good order as could be under the circumstances.

I am Capt
Very Respectfully
Robt. V. Cowan
Col 33d N.C.

Capt.E.J. Hale

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Hd Qrs 37th N.C.T.
Sept 24th 1864

Capt E.J. Hale, Jr.
A.A. Gen.

Capt. As to the part taken by the 37th Regt and some other points to the best of my judgment.  I would respectfully state that the distance traveled on 22nd June from the Rail Road or Davis House to where apart of the Brigade engaged the enemy was 1 1/2 or 2 miles.  That the engagment on the right of the Brigade lasted some thirty minutes, as near as I could judge.  I at the time was on the extreme left and had my left thrown back to prevent a flank movement  My regimental skirmishers captured [10 or 70] prisoners.  My loss before going to the left to support Gen Mahone was one wounded and three captured.  The regular sharpshooters of the Regt charged up near the enemy's breastworks, but none of the regimental skirmishers saw the enemy's works nor the line of battle.  We were nearly all the time moving forwards backwards and by the left flank, and were not immediately in rear of our sharpshooters & the longer were were there, the farther were from them
J. S. Bost  Maj.
37th N.C.T. 

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--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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