Harry Ousley Blake Lane was born on
April 26, 1846 in Naas County Kildare, Ireland. He migrated to
America towards the end of the Civil War and enlisted in the 25th
New York Cavalry, also known as Sickles' Cavalry, at Rikers Island,
New York on January 5, 1864, for three years; at 19 years of age. He
was mustered into Company B, commanded by Major McPherson and later
by Lieutenant Colonel Seeley, as a private on February 20, 1864.
The 25th Regiment was organized at
Saratoga Springs, New York and at Hart's Island in New York Harbour.
Companies "A" and "B" were officially mustered into the regiment on
February 20th. Once all the companies were mustered the
regiment moved to Washington, D.C., and attached to the Defences of
Lane was promoted to Sergeant on May 1, 1865, but his
U.S. Pension files refer to him as having the rank of Captain.
were then attached to the 22nd Army Corps, then to the Provost Guard
Army of the
Potomac in July, 1864. They then proceeded to Fort
Stevens and repulsed Gen. Early's attack on Washington, on July 11th
& 12th and continued duty in the Defences of Washington
until August. In August they were attached to the 3rd Brigade, 1st
Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Shenandoah, Middle Military
Division, and participated in the Battle of Winchester on September
saw action at the Battle of Luray, Luray Valley,
Virginia on September 24, 1864; where Lane was wounded. He sustained
a severe injury to ligaments in his left knee when his horse
breasted a fence. He was transported to the Regimental Surgeon, who
bandaged his leg, and relieved him of all duties for a considerable
length of time due to extreme pain. Despite his injury, however, he
was said to have taken part in every subsequent battle, in spite of
the intense pain that impaired him for the rest of his life. He was
one of three enlisted men injured during that engagement, with three
others reported missing.
The regiment also participated in Sheridan's
Shenandoah Valley Campaign from August 7th through
November 28th and saw action at numerous other locations,
Lane was again promoted; to Sergeant, during May of
finally ended up back in the Shenandoah Valley in June 1865 with the
1st Brigade, 1st Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Shenandoah,
until January 1865 and were then unattached with the 2nd Infantry
Division, Army of West Virginia, until June, 1865. Lane’s war service ended with that of his unit, at Harts Island in
New York Harbour, when he was mustered out of service, having served
18 months duration, at Hart’s Island, New York in New York Harbour
on June 27, 1865.
his discharge Lane lived in the United States, Great Britain,
Ireland and eventually arrived in Australia; in 1872. In Victoria he
worked for the Victoria State Education Department as a civil
servant, residing for a time at Brighton Beach, Melbourne. In 1882
Lane married Blanche Crisp at Brighton and they had two children;
DeFrey Blanche born in 1883 and Thomas Ousley Blake born in 1888.
Due to his war inflicted knee injury, Lane on March 28, 1890 applied
through James P. Lesesne, U.S. Consulate in Australia, for a
military pension; and a second time on December 15, 1891. Eventually
he was awarded the sum of $8 a month from the U.S. Government. In
1885, 1899 and 1904 his residence was shown as being in Brighton
Beach, Victoria, but his name disappeared from the registry in 1905.
It turned up next in 1913, at the Prince of Wales Hotel in St.
Lane had been living separately
from his wife for some two years and residing at the Prince of
Wales Hotel in St. Kilda, when he died on December 5, 1913 at
the age of 69 at the Alfred Hospital, Prahran, Melbourne, of
carcinoma of the stomach and heart failure.
Harry Ousley Blake Lane was buried in Brighton
Cemetery, one of approximately 35 Civil War veterans interred
In February 1991 a bronze plaque was obtained
from the American Veterans Administration in Washington DC and
installed on his gravesite. His widow continued to receive a
pension until her death, in 1938, and one of his
great-grandson’s is said to still reside in Brighton.