Numbers 42. Report of Brigadier General Henry Bohlen, U. S. Army, commanding brigade, of the battle of Cross Keys.
The brigade received orders to march on the 8th at 6.15 a. m., and marched at that time from their camping ground in the following order: Fifty-fourth Regiment New York Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Kozlay; Battery I, First New York Artillery, commanded by Captain Wiedrich; Seventy-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Mahler; Fifty-eighth New York Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Krzyzanowski; Seventy-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, commanded by Major Hamm. Ambulances and ammunition wagons followed in the rear of the brigade. Receiving orders to hurry on the column, I passed the train in front of my brigade and arrived near the place where the engagement should take place, immediately in rear of the First Brigade. Here I received orders to form the battalions in column, to support the First Brigade, commanded by General Stahel. This order was executed at once, and the brigade at the point A (see diagram)* was put in motion in the following order, the battalions being in double columns, closed in mass: On the right the Fifty-fourth Regiment, followed by the Seventy-fifth; in the center (on the road) the battery of Captain Wiedrich; on the left the Fifty-eighth Regiment New York Volunteers, followed by the Seventy-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.
At the point B a staff officer of General Stahel requested me to order the column forward to support the First Brigade. The Fifty-eighth Regiment being nearest on hand, was immediately ordered forward, formed in line of battle, and marched to the point C, the direction given by General Stahel. The Seventy-fourth was then ordered forward to the point D, on the left of the Fifty-eighth Regiment, and formed in line of battle. The battery was ordered to form at the point E on elevated ground. Receiving the indication that a force of two regiments with some cavalry was concealed in the wheat field (at point F) and tried to outflank me on the left, I immediately ordered the two regiments in reserve to the left to check the enemy's movements. I regret to say that at that time I received no communications at all as to what was going on on my right, where part of the First Brigade had taken position.
Meanwhile, as is shown in the report of Colonel Krzyzanowski, the Fifty-eighth marched gallantly ahead, supported by a section of Captain Schirmer's battery, which disabled the enemy's pieces placed on a hill on the right of the regiment (point G). The Fifty-eighth met the enemy and drove him back at point of the bayonet. Being in danger of being cut off by two columns advancing on the right, and also by the enemy's force placed on the left, the regiment had to retire, Captain Schirmer's battery having previously retired. The regiment, being without any support, fell back behind Captain Wiedrich's battery in good order.
Meanwhile the Seventy-fourth Regiment had proceeded in line of battle toward the wheat field (at point D). Here General Blenker ordered to send only two companies of skirmishers ahead, he supposing the New York Eighth Regiment to be in front, the main body of the regiment following slowly. At the outskirts of the woods (at point H)