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James H. Lane papers

Identifier: MS0416

Scope and Contents

This collection is a small assortment of materials concerning General James H. Lane’s service with the Bethel Regiment (First North Carolina Troops, later re-organized as the 11th North Carolina Troops) during the Civil War. There is also a “Roll of Honor” that lists deceased veterans.


  • 1884 - 1885


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

James H. Lane was born to Colonel Walter Gardner and Mary Ann Henry Lane in Mathews Court House, Virginia on July 28, 1833. He came from a long line of veteran soldiers and he himself matriculated at the Virginia Military Institute in the early 1850s, graduating in 1854, second in his class. From there, he went on to the University of Virginia to earn a degree in science in 1857. Most of his career after graduation involved teaching at such institutions as the Virginia Military Institute, the State Seminary of Florida at Tallahassee, and the North Carolina Military Institute in Charlotte.

When hostilities broke out in 1861, Lane enlisted in the North Carolina Troops along with other officers from the NCMI. At first he became an adjutant and instructor of military tactics at a camp of instruction near Raleigh. When the First North Carolina Volunteers were organized in Raleigh, Lane was assigned to that regiment and was elected its major. The regiment was soon sent to Virginia and first encountered combat at Bethel, Virginia. It was there that the First NC Volunteers earned the moniker “the Bethel Regiment.”

Late in 1861, at the time of this regiment’s expiration (it had enlisted its troops for a six-month duration) the regiment was re-organized as the 11th North Carolina Troops. Over time, Major Lane was promoted until he became a brigadier general; and at the age of twenty-nine he was the youngest general in the Confederate Army. Lane saw action throughout the rest of the war, including such engagements as the battles of Chancellorsville, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg (where he lost half of his men), the Wilderness, and Cold Harbor. General Lane and the 11th NCT were present at Appomattox when General Lee surrendered in 1865.

After the war he returned to his parents’ plantation and eventually began teaching again in a number of different cities, including Richmond, VA, and Concord and Wilmington, NC. In 1869 he married Charlotte Randolph Mead of Richmond and they had four daughters. Throughout the rest of his life, Lane taught at other schools, colleges, institutes and universities. He eventually settled at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (later known as Auburn University) where he had taught for twenty-five years, and was granted the title of professor emeritus. He died in Auburn in June of 1907. [Sources: Encyclopedia of North Carolina Biography. North Carolina Regiments, Vol. 1, (p 77)]



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Language of Materials



The collection contains four items: a letter (and a handwritten copy), dated April 24, 1885; An Extract From General A. P. Hill’s Report of the Battle of Gettysburg; and a handwritten item entitled “Our Confederate Dead / Mecklenburg County, NC. / Roll of Honor,” collected by General James H. Lane.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from the estate of Selby Daniels in August 2009.

Related Materials

Other collections of Lane’s papers can be found at the Virginia Military Institute and at Auburn University.

Processing Information

Processed by Robert A. McInnes.

James H. Lane papers
Robert A. McInnes, Compiler
October 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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