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Unpublished Report of Colonel Robert V. Cowan, 33rd North Carolina, Lane’s Brigade, of operations September 30-October 1, 18641
Hd Qr’s 33rd N.C.T.
Oct. 3rd 1864
I have the honor to Submit the following report of the engagements on the 30th of Sept and 1st October 1864. Before arriving at the place (near the Jones house) where the Brigade was formed in line, my Regiment was following the 18th which was the front one of the Brigade. The 18th was put into line & I was moved on throwing me on the right of the Brigade. On my right I saw nothing but our Cavalry videttes. After the skirmishers had advanced some distance in front, I was ordered to move forward and form on a hill near some rifle pits, which was done. My Regt still being on the right. Soon after forming here the enemy charged immediately on my left with two lines, seeing a good opportunity to strike the flank of these charging lines I moved forward to the top of hill, without awaiting orders, The 37th on my left also moved on with me. On reaching the top of the hill I halted and delivered several volleys into their flank. With my fire and that of the 37th they were soon driven back in confusion. The remainder of the brigade came up and we advanced as rapidly as possible upon their position in the wood. The enemy was soon driven from this position and we continued to follow into a piece of woods. Before getting entirely through the woods I discovered that there was a force of the enemy on my right in a large open field. Having been orderd by Brig. Gen’l Lane to look out for my right flank I wheeled a part of my Regt to the right & attacked this party of the enemy and drove them from the field. My line being very much scattered I then formed along the fence at the edge of the field. Afterwards I moved to the left and connected with McGowan’s Brigade, and remained there until ordered back to the road near the Jones house. There was no more fighting it being quite dark. My Regt was not engaged on the next day Oct 1st. So far as I was able to observe all my Officers & men acted well.
No account was taken of the number of prisoners captured.
I am Capt.
Very Respectfully Your Obt Serv’t
Robt. V. Cowan
Col. 33rd N.C.T.
Capt E.A.T. Nicholson
A.A. & I. Gen’l
- Cowan, Robert V. (1864, October 3). (Official Report sent to E.A.T. Nicholson). James H. Lane Papers (RG 501, Box 2, number 82). Auburn University Libraries Department of Special Collections & University Archives, Auburn, AL. ↩