War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0674 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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not to fire, as the Eighth Regiment New York Volunteer was ahead of the Seventy-fourth Regiment. This order was rehearsed several times to the adjutant of the regiment, Lieutenant F. Klenker, in hearing of the different companies. Major F. Blessing received the same order from Lieutenant Brandenstein, by order of General L. Blenker, he (Lieutenant Brandenstein) remaining till the skirmishers ceased firing, after which he (Brandenstein) was shot from his horse, the skirmishers having fired previously by order of Major F. Blessing, he (Major F. Blessing) recognizing the forces before him were not the Eighth Regiment New York Volunteers, but Second Regiment rebels, in line of battle. The skirmishers, after having gone forward, found themselves about 20 paces from the enemy, and had such volleys of balls discharged at them that Major F. Blessing found it necessary to order the skirmishers to fall back toward the left, and ordered Captain Huestmann to send the artillery forward to play upon the enemy.

The regiment being close by, the skirmishers ahead of us received torrents of musket-balls into them, whereupon Lieutenant Colonel J. Hamm ordered the regiment to fall back to the next fence, 20 paces to the rear, to take a good position, the regiment having returned the fire of the enemy very briskly. General H. Bohlen then ordered the regiment, through Captain Chandler, to fall back toward the left, the enemy's forces being discovered to be entirely too strong for us; also allowing the artillery to have full range at the enemy. Major F. Blessing's horse was shot from under him during the engagement. The falling back was conducted in the best possible order, without confusion. Roll call was held upon arriving at camp, and but 6 were missing, not accounted for at the time.

Very respectfully,

J. HAMM,

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Seventy-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Vols.

General H. BOHLEN,

Commanding Third Brigade.

Numbers 47. Report of Colonel Francis Mahler, Seventy-fifth Pennsylvania Infantry, of the battle of Cross Keys.

HDQRS. SEVENTY-FIFTH Regiment PENNSYLVANIA VOLS., Mount Jackson, June 1 [?], 1862.

Having been informed that serious charges have been made in regard to the conduct of the regiment which I have the honor to command, in the engagement of Sunday last, by General Blenker, it is due to the honor of my regiment that I should report the part that we took in the action. While in the support of the Seventy-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers and Fifty-fourth New York Volunteers, on the extreme left of the time, I was met by General Blenker and ordered to the front, advising me at the same time to be very cautious not to fire, as the Thirty-fifth (former number of the Seventy-fourth) was right in our front, and the Eighth New York were removing their wounded from the woods on our right. Arriving on the top of a knoll I perceived that the Seventy-fourth engaged a superior force, and seeing that their line of skirmishers were falling back I halted and immediately ordered