178. Report of Brigadier General James H. Lane, C. S. Army, commanding Branch's brigade, of operations August 24-September 2.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH BRIGADE,
November 14, 1862.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the various engagements from Cedar Run* to Shepherdstown inclusive:
The report must necessarily be imperfect, as I was not in command of the brigade until after General Branch's fall, while most of the officers who commanded the different regiments are now absent, and did not leave with the assistant adjutant-general any account of the part taken in the various battles by their respective commands.
SHELLING ACROSS THE RAPPAHANNOCK.
On Sunday (August 24) the Eighteenth Regiment was ordered to the support of McIntosh's battery. It lay during the whole of the day under a very heavy fire of the enemy's artillery, but sustained no loss. The Twenty-eighth and Thirty-third Regiments were sent, under my command, to support Braxton's and Davidson's batteries, and to prevent, if possible, the destruction of the bridge across the Rappahannock near the Warrenton White Sulphur Springs. I threw a portion of the Twenty-eighth far in advance into an open field, as far as practicable to act as sharpshooters, and kept the rest of my command sheltered behind a hill. We had only three wounded, although we were under a very heavy shelling all that day. The remaining regiments were also under fire a part of the time.
We reached Manassas Junction the morning of the third day after the above shelling. The Eighteenth Regiment was detached to guard the captured stores, and the rest of the brigade was halted not far from the depot, near an earthwork to the left. While resting and awaiting an issue of Yankee ration the enemy were seem advancing upon our position in line of battle. General Branch immediately put his command in motion, and moved by the flank to the left of a battery planted near the earthwork. Our artillery opened upon them, soon put them to flight, and we pursued them rapidly in a diagonal direction across the field in rear of the hospital and some distance beyond Bull Run, but never overtook the main body, as the Crenshaw battery advanced more rapidly than we did, and poured charge after charge of canister into their disordered ranks. We succeeded, however, in capturing a large number of prisoners.
Next day, after marching through Centreville and across Bull Run on the stone bridge road, we were ordered from the road to the right into a piece of woods fronting a large open field, in which one of our bat-
*That portion relating to Cedar Run printed on pp. 220, 221.