at that time in the middle of a large rye field, skirted by woods immediately on the right of the battery and in front of my regiment, into which direction I moved in line up to and just beyond a fence at the outskirts of these woods, looking for the troops I was to assist and for the enemy. On the right of my position was another open field, on the opposite side of which I saw a column move by the flank toward the left of our lines, and upon a hill I perceived a battery opening fire toward our right. In order to find out whether I was on the left I sent one company out as skirmishers to keep up the connection on that side and by throwing them a little forward to give information of the enemy's advance.
Directly after this Captain Schirmer came up, and seeing the battery he told me if I would protect him with my regiment he would bring up a couple of guns and open fires upon the enemy's battery. He did so, and soon silenced the latter, when the enemy engaged my skirmishers, who slowly retired toward the regiment for the purpose of giving my men a chance to fire. Captain Schirmer now withdrew his guns and soon the whole regiment was engaged. Keeping up a constant fire, which told greatly among the enemy's lines, I now gave the command to charge bayonets, and succeeded in driving him back about a hundred yards.
To my greatest dismay I noticed at this instant two regiments coming out of the woods on the right of the enemy's battery, and having no reserve to fall back on I thought it imprudent to remain any longer, and consequently gave the command orders to retire while a heavy musketry fire was poured upon my men. I retired behind the battery of Captain Wiedrich, who now opened a heavy fire upon the enemy.
I remain, general, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Fifty-eighth New York Volunteers.
General H. BOHLEN,
Commanding Third Brigade.
Numbers 46. Report of Lieutenant Colonel John Hamm, Seventy-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, of the battle of Cross Keys.
HDQRS. SEVENTY-FOURTH Regiment PENNSYLVANIA VOLS., Camp near Mount Jackson, June 12, 1862.
On Sunday, at 2.30 o'clock p. m., June 8, 1862, the Seventy-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers was formed in line of battle by General H. Bohlen, and remained such for ten minutes, when General L. Blenker in person gave Lieutenant Colonel J. Hamm the order to detail the right and left companies (Companies A and G) as skirmishers, under command of Major F. Blessing, the former company commanded by Captain A. von Hartung, the latter by Captain C. Zinn, Lieutenant Colonel J. Hamm at the same time asking General L. Blenker, with or without reserve, as customary in skirmishing, upon which General L. Blenker ordered the companies to proceed without reserve, remarking at the same time that these skirmishers of the Seventy-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers were ordered only to protect the wounded of the Eighth Regiment New York Volunteers; also saying to be very careful and
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