No. 54. Brig. Gen. James H. Lane.

No. 54.

Report of Brig. Gen. James H. Lane, C. S. Army, commanding Fourth Brigade.

Headquarters Fourth Brigade,     
November 14, 1862.

    I  have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the various engagements from Cedar Run to Shepherdstown, inclusive.  The report must necessarily be imperfect, as I was not in command of the brigade until after General Branch’s fall, while most of the officers who commanded the different regiments are now absent and did not leave with the assistant adjutant-general any account of the part taken in the various battles by their respective commands:


     After a long, rapid, and weary march we reached the battle-field at Cedar Run on the afternoon of August 9, and took the position assigned us in line of battle by General Branch in the woods to the left of the road leading to the Run, the right of the Thirty-seventh resting on the road, the Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third, Eighteenth, and Seventh being on its left.  The Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third, Eighteenth, and Thirty-seventh moved cheerfully and irresistibly forward and in perfect order through the woods upon the enemy, who had succeeded in flanking the First (Stonewall) Brigade, of General Jackson’s division, which was rapidly giving way.  The enemy’s infantry were soon driven from the woods into the field beyond, and both infantry and cavalry were finally driven in great disorder from the scene of action.  Many prisoners were taken, and many others deserted their colors and voluntarily surrendered themselves.  After advancing in line beyond Cedar Run we were half wheeled to the right and marched across the road through a field of corn and over an open field until we reached the left of the forces under Brig. Gen. W. B. Taliaferro, where we were halted.  It was then dark, and the infantry firing had ceased in all directions.

     During the entire engagement the officers and men behaved as well as could be desired, notwithstanding the disorderly manner in which some of the troops we were ordered to support fell back.

     Lieutenants Dunn and Coltrane, of the First Virginia (Irish) Battalion, tendered me their services on the field, as they had been left without a command.  I put them in charge of two companies of the Twenty-eighth Regiment (previously commanded by sergeants) and both discharged the duties assigned them only as brave men can do.

     Our loss was 12 killed and 88 wounded.

     I did not see the Seventh Regiment after we were ordered forward, and as Colonel Haywood is absent I will submit so much of Captain Turner’s report as relates to the part taken by his regiment in this engagement:

     When the brigade moved forward this regiment, for causes unknown to the writer, did not move for several minutes, and, consequently, was considerably behind the brigade.  We were finally ordered forward, but had not proceeded more than 100 yards when we were halted and the line dressed.  By this time the brigade was entirely out of sight.  We marched forward, and were again halted and the line dressed.  We next wheeled to the right and marched into a road running nearly perpendicular to our original line of battle.  Colonel Haywood at this point left the regiment to look for General Branch.  The command then devolved upon Capt. R. B. MacRae, who, hearing heavy firing in our front, was just on the eve of ordering the regiment in that direction, when Colonel Haywood returned with orders from General Jackson. We then marched by the right flank to a wheat field, on the left of the Culpeper road, and formed on a hill in rear of and nearly perpendicular to the brigade, which was then at the bottom of the hill and in the same field.  We marched forward at a double-quick to the support of General Taliaferro’s division, which we found engaging a force of the enemy concealed in a corn field.  We had fired several rounds, when the enemy broke and fled.  We pursued them about three-quarters of a mile, taking about 30 prisoners, including 2 commissioned officers, when we were halted by command of General Taliaferro and marched to a point on the Culpeper road, where we joined the brigade and bivouacked for the night.   The regiment sustained a loss of 1 man killed and I wounded in this action.

*      *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     

     Very respectfully,

JAMES H. LANE,      

     Major R. C. Morgan.*

*Portion of General Lane’s report here omitted printed on pp. 675-677.