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Unpublished Report of Captain W. J. Callais, 33rd North Carolina, Lane’s Brigade, of operations July 28, 18641
Hd Qrs 33rd N.C. Regt
July 29th 1864
In obedience to orders I beg leave to submit the following report of the part taken by the 33rd N.C. Regt in the action of the 28th inst At about 11 A.M.. Capt D.M. Corgin commanding me to move forward in line of battle on the right, the left connecting the right of the 28th NC Regt our right being the extreme right of the Brigade.
Soon after the line was forward Capt Corgin was ordered to throw forward a line of skirmishers And as soon as they had deployed the command was given The Brigade to forward double quick. We moved forward in double quick time driving the enemy before us until we reached the summit of the hill beyond the corn fields in which there were some log cabins. Here we were subject to an enfilade fire but held our position until attacked on the right flank & rear. I would here beg leave to state that the officers & men under my command acted most gallantly at this particular juncture fighting the enemy at about only ten paces distance some instances nearer. Here Capt C Corgin fell mortally wounded while cheering the men and encouraging my men by his own brave conduct. The enemy having succeeded by getting in our rear as well as our own right flank it became necessary to retreat in order to prevent their cutting off & capturing us
Had the commanders of the 37th & 28th Regts
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(Which were now moving froward apparently by the flank in rear of the right of the 33rd NC Regt) thrown forward their regiments in line of battle on a line with & on the right of the 33rd Regt our flank would thus have been protected, but as they did not do this they afforded me no assistance whatever
The regiment was rallied at lower edge of the corn field and immediately afterward given orders by Col. Cowan to fall back about sixty or seventy yards & form in line of battle perpendicular to the road leading to the corn field, which order was promptly executed.
I am Capt
Your Obdt Servant
W. J. Callais
Capt Commg Regt
- Callais, W. J. (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. ↩