War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0146 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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First Pennsylvania Rifles. On arriving on the summit of the first hill I discovered that the Rifles were engaged with a body of the enemy, which was giving them an undue share of the work. I then changed direction and marched by the left flank, where I gave them (the rebels) a raking fire, punishing them severely and causing them to break and retreat in great disorder. I at once pursued them over a high stonewall and through a corn-field, reaching the top of the hill before either of the other regiments, all the time keeping my line in perfect order. When I arrived at the summit I halted, called my rolls, and found only eight of my men unaccounted for. In this fight I lost 1 killed (John A. Hougendoubler, of Company K, a gallant and faithful soldier, who in seventeen months' service has not to my knowledge ever had to be reproved by his company or regimental commander), and 12 wounded. I wish to ask particular attention to the fact that although my regiment had been several hours engaged, I had but eight men absent at my evening roll-call. On Tuesday evening, September 16, I was ordered by you to take a position on the left of your brigade and make my quarters for the night under a tree which you did me the honor to point out. When I halted I told my men where I might be found, but unfortunately the enemy, or at least a regiment of them, were lying in a piece of woods within twenty paces of my line, and heard all my arrangements for the night, and scarcely had I lain down when they opened a terrific fire upon me, but fortunately none of their missiles took effect as they intended, and in consequence I am here to tell the story. I immediately got my men into proper position, and returned their fire with such effect that I have understood from prisoners taken the next day that we killed or wounded about half of their men. I kept my men, although very tired, under arms during the night. About 2 a. m. they again opened on me, thinking no doubt that in the still hour of the night they would take me off my guard. But I have not so learned duty. I at once returned their fire, and although I punished them rather severely, I did not lose a man. I regret to say, however, in the first attack I lost Hardman P. Petrikin, of Company E, one of my most daring and gallant officers. I also had one man wounded. As soon as it became light enough to see what I was doing I charged across the piece of woodland in my front, routing the enemy and taking possession of the woodland, which I held until the regiments on my right fell back, when I very reluctantly retired, which was done in excellent order.

In all these battles my officers and men behaved with the greatest coolness and bravery, with very few exceptions. In this connection it is but right that I should mention the names of some of my officers and men who distinguished themselves by most remarkable bravery - among whom may and should be mentioned Major Zentmyer, Captains Larrimer, McPherran, Wolfe; Lieutenant Snay, Company A; Lieutenants Slater and Maus, Company B; Lieutenant McGaughey, Company C, who had been wounded at Bull Run and just returned to duty; Lieutenant Potter, Company C; Lieutenant Schaffle, Company D, who for his gallantry I have recommenced for a captaincy; Lieutenant Hildebrand, Company G; Sergeant McNally, who was in command of Company H; Lieutenants Porter and Zentmyer, of Company I; Sergeant-Major McCall, whose name has since been forwarded for a lieutenancy; Sergt. John M. Rhoads, of Company H, whose name has also been forwarded for a lieutenancy. Among the privates I am not prepared to say who most distinguished themselves, but my attention was particularly directed to Thomas Carney, of Company K; Mullin, of Company F;