Editor’s Note: Brett Schulte recently noticed this report transcribed online among the James H. Lane Papers at the Auburn University Archives web site. Permission was asked for and granted by Auburn University Libraries, Department of Special Collections & University Archives to reproduce these transcriptions here at The Siege of Petersburg Online. These transcriptions are copyrighted by Auburn University Libraries, Department of Special Collections & University Archives and may not be reproduced without their express written consent. The transcription attribution reads as follows: “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.”
Unpublished Report of Captain James G. Harris, 7th North Carolina, Lane’s Brigade, of operations July 28, 18641
Head Quarters 7th Regt. N.C. Troops
July 29th 1864
Captn E.J. Hale Jr.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this regiment on yesterday. Early in the morning orders were received from Brigade Head Qrs to be in readiness to move at a moments notice and about 5 oclock A.M. we moved by the left flank in the direction of Fussels Mill. Crossing the creek at that point came up with the enemy in a strip of woods about two miles beyond it. Three Companies were sent to protect the left flank under command of Lieut. Deans, and three Companies commanded by Capt J.S. Harris were ordered to support the line of skirmishers. Line of battle was then formed perpendicular to the road the left of the 7th resting on the road. In a few minutes, we moved forward passing through a dense swamp and attacked the enemy posted in a field in front of our line. We drove him across the field and a mile, when the whole line halted and kept up a fire for about 20 minutes. In moving across the field the Brigade moved to the right and left a space of about 50 yards between my right and the left of the 18th. After remaining there about 20 minutes as stated above the right of the Brigade was discovered falling back rapidly and the enemy pressing forward on my right flank. General Connor ordered a line to be formed perpendicular to the old line which I succeeded in partially doing with my regiment but the enemy advanced in such force and my lines were so short as to compel me to fall back together with the right of McGowan’s brigade to the extent of 200 yards
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where the line was rallied for a short time-the enemy continued to press our right as to compel the line to fall back a second time several hundred yards into the woods where it was so scattered as to render it impossible to form another line sufficient to make any further resistance.
I Am Captain Very Respy
Your Obt. Srvt
J[ames]. G. Harris Capt
Comdg 7th Regt NC Troops
- Harris, James G. (1864, July 29). (Official Report sent to E. J. Hale, Jr.). James H. Lane Papers (RG 501, Box 2, number 74). Auburn University Libraries Department of Special Collections & University Archives, Auburn, AL ↩