Report of Capt. Abner Dobyns, Forty-second Virginia Infantry.
Camp Near Liberty Mills,
August 13, 1862.
Colonel: In obedience to orders I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Forty-second Regiment Virginia Volunteers in the recent engagement at Cedar Run, Culpeper County, Virginia, on August 9:
About 3 p. m. the regiment, commanded by Maj. Henry Lane, in conjunction with the rest of the brigade, was ordered to the front, and accordingly marched along the Culpeper road until it reached a body of woods about half a mile from the battle-field. It was then halted and ordered to load. It was then filed off to the left of the road and marched through the woods nearly parallel with the road, and during the march the woods were very heavily shelled by the enemy, but no casualties occurred in the regiment. The regiment was halted in the woods to the left of the road near a field, where one or two pieces of our artillery were planted and in action. It remained in this position near half an hour, and was then ordered to move forward, and accordingly marched some 400 yards, until it reached a narrow road leading to a wheat field; filing down the road to the left near 100 yards, it then filed to the right through the woods parallel with the fence until it reached its depth; it was then halted and fronted in line of battle. The Forty-eighth Virginia Regiment was on the right and the First Virginia Battalion on the left. Our skirmishers, who had previously been thrown out, soon discovered those of the enemy near at hand, and in a few moments the main body of the enemy advanced from the woods opposite the wheat field to our front, and having gotten midway the wheat field the regiment was ordered to fire, which was done with a great deal of coolness and rapidity, and kept up constantly for some half an hour or more, the regiment remaining in good order all the time.
Early in the engagement Major Lane was mortally wounded, and a great many of the company officers and men were killed and wounded.
The enemy, having flanked us right and left, were seen suddenly advancing upon our rear in considerable disorder. About this juncture we received orders to fall back and soon came in contact with the enemy at the point of the bayonet. A good many of the officers and soldiers of the regiment were captured by the enemy and again recaptured, and many of them severely wounded while in the hands of the enemy. Several officers and men of the regiment whom we recaptured from the enemy informed me that they were most brutally maltreated by the enemy, and saw many of our men brutally murdered after being captured.
During this portion of the engagement the regiment was thrown in great confusion and became much scattered, but a large portion of those remaining were afterward rallied and moved forward with General Branch’s brigade, and charged through the wheat field to the woods and halted. The loss was very light during the charge. The regiment was then marched through the wheat field and across the road to the right into a corn field and remained during the night. After this, nothing worthy of note occurred.
The loss in the regiment, both killed and wounded, was very heavy, but not more than 6 or 8 were missing. The regiment captured a large number of the enemy, both officers and men, and sent them to the rear.
Captain, Comdg. Forty-second Regiment Virginia Volunteers.