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Corinth, Mississippi

As the 3rd Texas was now under Van Dorn’s Cavalry Corps and the entire command was ordered to Corinth, Mississippi to stop a Yankee advance. Many of the Confederate troops had never been far for home and were still in their late teens. Some of the 3rd Texas boys took a ride on a train for the first time in their lives.

As the army assembled near Corinth disease again began to over take the troops. Some 50 men of the 3rd Texas Cavalry perished from lethal fevers and infections contracted at Corinth. General Beauregard realized that he could not hold Corinth and planned a deception to fool the enemy into thinking he was still there with his army while he was secretly pulling them all out. The 3rd Texas played an important roll in this. Beauregard ordered Van Dorn to mount a demonstration against the enemy to mask the retreat. Van Dorn detached Col. Lane and the 3rd Texas to advance at sunrise toward the enemy’s earthworks and draw out the Yankee skirmishers. With hundreds lying ill, Lane could only muster 246 men. He led this little band on a double-quick several hundred yards though the abatis of felled timber to with in fifty paces of the union Picket line. They were placed in a position to either do or die since retreat would trap them in the labyrinth of the abatis. "Drawing fore from the entrenched Yankee Pickets, the Texans dodged behind whatever cover the ground afforded. Each man took a tree, and after discharging his firearms and reloading from that position, would advance to the next cover and repeat the performance." Lane then ordered a charge, " Screaming like demons, the Texans drove the union pickets out of their holes and into their own earthworks some four hundred yards to the rear."

smwlane

 

Walter Page Lane was born in Ireland on February 18, 1817. He immigrated to the United States in 1821. Lane came to Texas and fought at the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836 in Henry W. Karne’s cavalry unit.

  

All day long, Lane’s little detachment held this position against three regiments of the enemy, while Beauregard evacuated Corinth. Before it was finished the 3rd Texas Cavalry lost eight killed and nine wounded. By nightfall Lane ordered his exhausted men hold their position until midnight while Beauregard completed his evacuation. Utterly spent the 3rd Texas Cavalry finally left and walked down the then deserted streets toward Tupelo.

After the War for Texas Independence, Lane fought the Indians and was wounded in 1838. Lane served in the Mexican war of 1847 as a 1st Lieutenant in Kit Archland’s Texas Ranger Company. Lane was commissioned a Lt. Colonel of the 3rd Texas Cavalry in 1861 and fought with them through 1862. He was later transferred and fought in Louisiana as a brigade commander. He received his commission to Brigadier General as one of the last acts of the Confederate Government. General Lane died in Marshal Texas on January 28, 1892.

By the summer of 1862, the 3rd Texas had only 388 men fit for duty on its rolls. Many of the men suffered from chronic diarrhea. All the surgeon had to offer for any illness was opium. At sick call he would carve out a lump of opium, "as big as a cannon ball" and was then mix down into little pills. These "pills" were given for such thinks as a "hurting in my stomach," "a misery in my head" and "a chill". Whatever the symptoms the cure was the same.