War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0314 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

Fifty-fourth Regiment New York State Volunteers was drawn up in line of battle at 6 o'clock a.m. at Manassas, and ordered for reserve by General Schurz. At 8 o'clock, by his orders, was sent to the woods to drive out the enemy, and found them in large force. The regiment instantly became engaged, and it held the woods in spite of the superior numbers until 1 o'clock, when it was relieved by another regiment.

In this engagement the officers and men behaved themselves bravely, especially the second color-bearer, William Ranschmuller, who, seeing his comrade (the first color-braver) fall, instantly seized the flag, and at the same time cared for his wounded comrade, took him, to the rear, and immediately returned again to his proper place. After this the regiment was ordered to fall back to another wood about a half mile distant, with the order to be in column by division, to be ready for any emergency, and the regiment remained under arms all night.

The 30th the Fifty-fourth Regiment New York State Volunteers was ordered at 10 o'clock to draw up in line of battle on the plains of Manassas. About 3 o'clock the enemy commenced to pour into us a terrible fire of shot and shell, and under this fire the regiment suffered very much and stood like a wall. About 4 o'clock the regiment was ordered to advance up the hill to check the enemy, who was trying to flank our left, which was done. After this the regiment was ordered by General Krzyzanowski to be relieved. In the mean time the regiment received orders by Major-General Sigel to hold the ditch, which was done. The commanding officer of the regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Ashby, seeing the regiment left without support, withdrew the troops slowly to the battery of Captain Dilger, reaching there at 7 o'clock p.m., and the regiment was ordered by Major-General Sigel as the rear guard.

In this engagement I have the honor to mention the gallant conduct of First Lieutenant Wertheimer, who, with a small flag in his hand, advanced about 6 paces before the regiment, and the regiment advanced with cheers on a double-quick and fired on the enemy. I also have to mention the brave conduct of the following non-commissioned officers: Sergt. Major E. Both, Orderly Sergeant Friedle, Orderly Sergeant Osterthal, Orderly Sergeant Nelson, Sergeants Raven, King, Steaven, Wearner, Boller, and Hartman.

I am sorry to report the loss of many brave officers and men, as the original report will testify. Killed, wounded, and missing - total 161 men.*

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

STEPHEN KOVACS,

Major, Commanding Fifty-fourth Regiment New York State Vols.

General W. KRZYZANOWSKI, Commanding Second Brigade.

No. 24. Report of Captain Frederick Braun, Fifty-eighth New York Infantry, of operations August 20-31.

HDQRS. FIFTY-EIGHTH Regiment NEW YORK STATE VOLS., Camp near Arlington Heights, September 12, 1862.

I have the honor to submit the following report:

The regiment arrived after three days' marching from camp near

---------------

*See p.251.

---------------