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Unpublished Report of Captain James G. Harris, 7th North Carolina, Lane’s Brigade, of operations August 25, 18641
Hd Qr 7th Regt NCT
August 28th 1864
I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this regiment in the engagement at Reams Station on the 25th day of August 1864.
About 10 o’clock on the morning of the 24th we received orders to be in readiness to move at a moments notice and about 3 o’clock the same evening we moved off on the road leading to Dinwiddie C.H. After marching about a mile and a half on that road, we took a road to the left leading to Reams Station and went into camp about ten o’clock within three miles of that place, with orders to be in readiness to move at 4 o’clock next morning, left camp about 4 ½ o’clock next morning, moved out about two miles into a plantation road where we were halted and remained for several hours, after which the command was faced about and moved back on the road leading to Reams Station and came up with the enemy near that place about three o’clock in the evening. His skirmishers were soon driven in and this regiment formed in line on the left of our brigade to which was the extreme left of the attacking column. Finding a line of the enemy skirmishers on our left flank I threw out a strong picquet to protect it. Soon after orders were received to move forward, and to be guided by the movements of the regiment on our right. After advancing about two hundred yards, we reached the edge of the woods in front of which the enemy had built strong earthworks and an almost inpenetrable abattis. At this point the enemy poured a destructive fire of musketry and artillery into our front and flank which at first caused some confusion but owing to the exertions of the officers order was soon restored and the men stood firmly and returned the fire of the enemy for over 15 minutes exposed to the most galling fire they had ever been under. It is being impossible to advance and destruction to remain where we were the regiment fell back to a hollow about one hundred yards in rear where it was wholy reformed and remained in line until orders were received to move to the works which had been captured by the troops on our right and remained there until some time in the night when we moved out, and camped for the night about four miles from the field of battle.
In this engagement the brave Capt McAuley fell while nobly encouraging the men by word and example.
Too much praise can not be awarded to the officers of the Regiment for the coolness and courage displayed and to the men who done their duty nobly.
I am Captain
Your Obdt Serv’t
James G. Harris
Capt. Comdg Regiment
- Harris, James G. (1864, August 28). (Official Report sent to E. J. Hale, Jr.). James H. Lane Papers (RG 501, Box 2, number 77). Auburn University Libraries Department of Special Collections & University Archives, Auburn, AL. ↩