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Unpublished Siege of Petersburg Report of Major Jackson L. Bost, 37th North Carolina, Lane’s Brigade, of operations July 28, 18641
Capt E.J. Hale Jr. Hd Qrs 37th N.C.T.
A.A. General August 3rd 1864
I respectfully submit the following report of the operations of the 37th Regt on the battle field on the 28th inst. In line of battle the 37th occupied a position immediately on the right of the 18th regt and on the left of the 28th in which order official orders were given to forward with the guide on the left and executed in good faith but in a short time the line became very much crowded so that giving way to the right did not seem to give room enough when orders were given by the Brigade Commander to march by the right flank which was repeated by me but rather badly executed owing to the right of the line not moving off by the flank, when the regt on my _____ broke in front of mine and I did the same thing as soon as I could get to where it was. In a very short time afterward the Brigade Commander gave the command forward double quick which caused the regts to lap over each other and my left was considerably covered by those on my left so that at the very time Col Cowan comdg Brigade happened to be present to whom I reported and I then received orders from him to move on to the right of the Brigade. Just at that time there was skirmishing going on and some artillery firing by the enemy and a attack along the line, besides the woods with undergrowth barring way, the Regt having previously instructed to move forward all of which made it difficult to get the regt on the right and [I] only succeeded in getting a portion to move to the right the rest having gone on with the Brigade and some became mixed up with McGowan’s brigade. With that I could make understand to move to right of the brigade I march by the flank.
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to the right having just myself to brake them off from the line and just in the rear, and tell them all along the line what to do and before I had gone far I was fired into from the right & rear which confused the most of the man and made them think they were flanked . At the time I was between two corn fields near the end of a ridge which is between two swamps and as soon as I could get into line and find out which way to go I proceeded to cross the swamp on my left by the flank and did not get beyond the left corn field until the left were falling back after which I moved back on the same line so as to protect that flank and formed a skirmish line along a fence between two corn fields and sent a courier to report on this to Col Cowan and request orders when I was ordered to form on a country road to my rear and left which I did finding the Officers & men much scattered over the field there.
The regt was not taken into the fighting & unready to do good execution as a regt which condition which was owing to the mistaking notion of changing too soon a change in position in the excitement of the moment together with the great difference in the obstacles in the front which had to be passed over along the line. my casualties amont to thirty two among the No. Adjt. D.W. Oates, both wound & Capt. Lieut. G.W. McKee, wounded & killed. Ten captured and one missing which was owing to the right of the line being flanked near a swamp and a ravine full of under growth.
J[ackson]. L. Bost Maj
P.S. On 27th Ult. In a skirmish Sergt A. Green of Co. “G” was wounded — J.L.B.
- Bost, Jackson L. (1864, August 3). (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. ↩