General James Henry Lane

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General James Henry Lane

James Henry Lane  (Confederate)

Biographical data and notes:
- Born Jul 28, 1833, in Mathews County, VA
- Pre-enlistment occupation: Instructor NC Milt Inst
- James Henry Lane died on Sep 21, 1907, at Auburn, AL

Enlistment:
- Residing in Mecklenburg County, NC at time of enlistment
- 27 years of age at time of enlistment
- Enlisted on May 11, 1861, at Raleigh, NC as Major

Mustering information:
- Commissioned into Field and Staff, 1st Volunteers Inf (North Carolina) on May 11, 1861
- Discharged due to promotion from 1st Volunteers Inf (North Carolina) on Sep 21, 1861
- Commissioned into Field and Staff, 28th Infantry (North Carolina) on Sep 21, 1861
- Discharged due to promotion from 28th Infantry (North Carolina) on Nov 1, 1862

Promotions:
- Promoted to Brig-Gen (Full, Vol) (date not indicated)
- Promoted to Colonel (Full, Vol) (date not indicated) (28th NC Inf)
- Promoted to Major (Full, Vol) (date not indicated) (1st NC Inf)
- Promoted to Lt Col (Full, Vol) on Sep 3, 1861
- Promoted to Colonel (Full, Vol) on Sep 21, 1861
- Promoted to Brig-Gen (Full, Vol) on Nov 1, 1862

Listed as:
- Wounded on Jun 30, 1862, at Frayser's Farm, VA (Returned)
- Wounded on Jul 1, 1862, at Malvern Hill, VA

Biography:
Brigadier-General James H. Lane

General James Henry Lane
General James Henry Lane.jpg
Library of Congress

Brigadier-General James H. Lane was born at Matthews Court
House, Va., the son of Col. Walter G. and Mary A. H.
(Barkwell) Lane. He was one of the two "star graduates" of
his class at the Virginia military institute, and afterward
pursued a scientific course at the University of Virginia.

After serving on the hydrographic survey of York River, he was
appointed assistant professor of mathematics and tactics at
the Virginia military institute, and later professor of those
branches at the Florida State seminary. At the time of the
formation of the Confederate States government he was
professor of natural philosophy in the North Carolina military
institute at Charlotte.

With the other officers of the college he offered his services
to the State. He acted as drillmaster and adjutant in the
first camp of instruction near Raleigh, where he was elected
major of the First North Carolina volunteers, Col. D. H. Hill.

His first service was on the Virginia peninsula, where on July
8th, with a detachment composed of the Buncombe riflemen and
one gun of the Richmond howitzers, he attacked and chased a
marauding party across New Market bridge in full view of Old
Point and Hampton, becoming responsible, as Colonel Hill
publicly declared at the time, for the subsequent affair at
Big Bethel.

In that encounter he served in the salient before which Major
Winthrop was killed. His regiment here earned the title of
the "Bethel" regiment, and he was dubbed the "Little Major"
and elected lieutenant-colonel when Hill was promoted.

Not long afterward he was elected colonel of the Twenty-eighth
North Carolina regiment, which he reorganized for the war,
before the passage of the conscript acts. He was then again
unanimously elected colonel, and at inspection near Kinston
his command was complimented by General Holmes for being the
first of the twelve months' regiments to re-enlist for the
war.

He commanded his regiment at Hanover Court House when it was
cut off by the overwhelming force under Fitz John Porter, and
was praised by Generals Lee and Branch for the gallantry of
the fight and the masterly extrication from disaster. At Cold
Harbor he was wounded at the same time that the noble Campbell
fell in front of his regiment, colors in hand, and at
Frayser's Farm he received an ugly and painful wound in the
face while charging a battery, but refused to leave the field.

At Sharpsburg, when the brigade under Branch was hastening to
the left, Lane and his regiment were detached by A. P. Hill
and sent into the fight to support a battery and drive back
the enemy. About dark Lane received an order from Branch to
join the brigade, and when coming up met Major Engelhard, who,
in response to an inquiry as to where General Branch could be
found, replied in a voice choked with emotion:
"He has just been shot; there he goes on that stretcher, dead,
and you are in command of the brigade."

Two days after, Lane's brigade, with Gregg's and Archer's,
constituted the rear guard of the army in crossing the
Potomac. The brigade hailed with delight Lane's promotion to
brigadier-general, which occurred November 1, 1862, christened
him their "Little General," and presented him a fine sash,
sword, saddle and bridle.

He was at this time twenty-seven years old. In his last
battle under Stonewall Jackson, Chancellorsville, he and his
North Carolinians fought with gallantry and devotion.

At Gettysburg he participated in the first shock of battle on
July 1st, and on the 3rd his brigade and Scales' formed the
division which Trimble led up Cemetery hill. In this bloody
sacrifice half his men were killed or wounded, and his horse
was killed under him.

Subsequently, he was in command of the light division until the
12th, when it was consolidated with Heth's.

During 1864 he was in battle from the Rapidan to Cold Harbor.
At Spottsylvania Court House, at the critical moment when
Hancock, having overrun the famous angle and captured
Johnson's division, was about to advance through this break in
the Confederate line, Lane's brigade, stationed immediately on
the right of the angle, rapidly drew back to an unfinished
earthwork, in which he flung two of his regiments, while the
other three were posted behind them to load and pass up rifles
to the front line.

Thus a terrible fire was opened upon the Federals, which
checked their triumph and permitted Gordon's and other
divisions to arrive in time to hold the line.

At Cold Harbor General Lane received a painful wound in the
groin which disabled him for some time, but he was with his
brigade at Appomattox.

After the surrender he made his way, penniless, to his
childhood home, and found his parents ruined in fortune and
crushed in spirit by the loss of two brave sons, members of
their brother's staff.

He worked here until he could borrow $150 to assist him in
search of other employment. Since then he has been
prominently associated with educational work in the South,
serving eight years as commandant of cadets and professor of
natural philosophy in the Virginia agricultural and mechanical
college; for a short time as professor of mathematics in the
school of mines of the Missouri State university, and for a
long time with the Alabama agricultural and mechanical
college, first acting as commandant, as well as professor of
civil engineering and drawing, the chair he still holds.

He has received the degrees of Ph. D., from the university of
West Virginia, and LL. D., from
Trinity College, North
Carolina
. At the first interment of President Davis he was
one of the three guards of honor.

General Lane married Charlotte Randolph Meade, of Richmond,
who died several years ago, leaving four daughters.

Source: Confederate Military History, vol. V, p. 323

Recommended Reading: The 28th North Carolina Infantry: A Civil War History and Roster.  Description: In April 1861, public opinion in North Carolina was divided between Union and secession supporters. It was only after President Lincoln issued his call to arms to subdue the rebel state of South Carolina that North Carolina seceded, primarily in protest of the order to fight her sister state. Beginning with a look at the prevailing atmosphere in North Carolina in the spring of 1861, this volume provides an in-depth history of one Confederate infantry regiment, the 28th North Carolina, which was comprised primarily of units from the central and southwestern parts of the state. Continued below...

It discusses the various battles in which the 28th North Carolina was involved, including Hanover Court House, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Chapin's Farm andAppomattox. Special emphasis is placed on the thoughts and surviving accounts provided by those soldiers who witnessed firsthand the atrocities of war. Appendices contain (among other items) a chronology of the 28th North Carolina; a list of casualties among officers; a list of casualties in the 28th from 1862 through 1864; and the full text of letters from two members of the 28th, the Harding brothers. About the Author: Retired research assistant from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, Frances H. Casstevens, is also the author of  Clingman's Brigade in the Confederacy, 1862-1865, Out of the Mouth of Hell: Civil War Prisons and Escapes, Tales from the North And the South, and The Civil War and Yadkin County, North Carolina (1997, Winner, 1998 Willie Parker Peace Award—North Carolina Society of Historians). She is a lifelong resident of Yadkin County.

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Recommended Reading: Generals in Gray Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Description:  When Generals in Gray was published in 1959, scholars and critics immediately hailed it as one of the few indispensable books on the American Civil War. Historian Stanley Horn, for example, wrote, "It is difficult for a reviewer to restrain his enthusiasm in recommending a monumental book of this high quality and value." Here at last is the paperback edition of Ezra J. Warner’s magnum opus with its concise, detailed biographical sketches and—in an amazing feat of research—photographs of all 425 Confederate generals. Continued below...

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The book does an excellent job describing the battles, then at a critical decision point in the battle, the book focuses on an officer - the book stops and tells the biography of that person, and then goes back to the battle and tells what information the officer had at that point and the decision he made. At the end of the battle, the officers decisions are critiqued based on what he "could have known and what he should have known" given his experience, and that is compared with 20/20 hindsight. "It is an incredibly well written book!"
 

Recommended ReadingConfederate Military History Of North Carolina: North Carolina In The Civil War, 1861-1865. Description: The author, Prof. D. H. Hill, Jr., was the son of Lieutenant General Daniel Harvey Hill (North Carolina produced only two lieutenant generals and it was the second highest rank in the army) and his mother was General “Stonewall” Jackson’s wife's sister. In Confederate Military History Of North Carolina, Hill discusses North Carolina’s massive task of preparing and mobilizing for the conflict; the many regiments and battalions recruited from the Old North State; as well as the state's numerous contributions during the war. Continued below...

During Hill's Tar Heel State study, the reader begins with interesting and thought-provoking statistical data regarding the 125,000 "Old North State" soldiers that fought during the course of the war and the 40,000 that perished. Hill advances with the Tar Heels to the first battle at Bethel, through numerous bloody campaigns and battles--including North Carolina’s contributions at the "High Watermark" at Gettysburg--and concludes with Lee's surrender at Appomattox.
 
Recommended Reading: Remembering North Carolina's Confederates (NC) (Images of America). Description: The American Civil War was scarcely over when a group of ladies met in Raleigh and began to plan commemoration for the honored Confederate dead of North Carolina. In 1867, they held their first memorial service. Two years later in Fayetteville, the first monument to the state's fallen Confederate soldiers was erected. Over the next 14 decades, countless monuments were commissioned in cemeteries and courthouse squares across the state. Continued below…

Following Reconstruction, the veterans themselves began to gather in their local communities, and state and national reunions were held. For many of the Confederate veterans, honor for their previous service continued long after their deaths: accounts of their sacrifice were often chiseled on their grave markers. The numerous images within this book, photographs of veterans and reunions, monuments, and tombstones are but a sampling of the many ways that the old Confederate soldiers are commemorated across the Old North State. About the Author: Historian and photographer Michael C. Hardy is truly one-of-a-kind; he has dedicated and sacrificed his life preserving North Carolina’s Civil War history and heritage. With unmatched zeal and enthusiasm, Michael travels thousands of miles annually, while crisscrossing North Carolina, teaching, educating, speaking, listening, researching, and reading every conceivable aspect of the Civil War as it relates to the Old North State. Michael C. Hardy is the author of numerous books and articles about North Carolina's role during the Civil War. This is his second book for Arcadia Publishing. A popular speaker for history associations, preservation groups, and museums, he lives with his wife, Elizabeth, and son, Nathaniel, in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

 
FIVE STARS! Recommended Reading: The Civil War: A Narrative, by Shelby Foote (3 Volumes Set) [BOX SET] (2960 pages) (9.2 pounds). Review: This beautifully written trilogy of books on the American Civil War is not only a piece of first-rate history, but also a marvelous work of literature. Shelby Foote brings a skilled novelist's narrative power to this great epic. Many know Foote for his prominent role as a commentator on Ken Burns's PBS series about the Civil War. These three books, however, are his legacy. His southern sympathies are apparent: the first volume opens by introducing Confederate President Jefferson Davis, rather than Abraham Lincoln. But they hardly get in the way of the great story Foote tells. This hefty three volume set should be on the bookshelf of any Civil War buff. --John Miller. Continued below…
Civil War Shelby Foote.jpg

Product Description:

Foote's comprehensive history of the Civil War includes three compelling volumes: Fort Sumter to Perryville, Fredericksburg to Meridian, and Red River to Appomattox. Collected together in a handsome boxed set, this is the perfect gift for any Civil War buff.

Fort Sumter to Perryville

"Here, for a certainty, is one of the great historical narratives of our century, a unique and brilliant achievement, one that must be firmly placed in the ranks of the masters." —Van Allen Bradley, Chicago Daily News

"Anyone who wants to relive the Civil War, as thousands of Americans apparently do, will go through this volume with pleasure.... Years from now, Foote's monumental narrative most likely will continue to be read and remembered as a classic of its kind." —New York Herald Tribune Book Review

Fredericksburg to Meridian

"This, then, is narrative history—a kind of history that goes back to an older literary tradition.... The writing is superb...one of the historical and literary achievements of our time." —The Washington Post Book World

"Gettysburg...is described with such meticulous attention to action, terrain, time, and the characters of the various commanders that I understand, at last, what happened in that battle.... Mr. Foote has an acute sense of the relative importance of events and a novelist's skill in directing the reader's attention to the men and the episodes that will influence the course of the whole war, without omitting items which are of momentary interest. His organization of facts could hardly be bettered." —Atlantic

Red River to Appomattox

"An unparalleled achievement, an American Iliad, a unique work uniting the scholarship of the historian and the high readability of the first-class novelist." —Walker Percy

"I have never read a better, more vivid, more understandable account of the savage battling between Grant's and Lee's armies.... Foote stays with the human strife and suffering, and unlike most Southern commentators, he does not take sides. In objectivity, in range, in mastery of detail in beauty of language and feeling for the people involved, this work surpasses anything else on the subject.... It stands alongside the work of the best of them." —New Republic

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