Philadelphia in the Civil War 1861-1865
Frank H. Taylor
Published by the City – 1913
Seventy-Fourth Regiment Infantry
Colonel Alexander Von Schimmelfennig to November 9th, 1862
Colonel A. Von Hartung to July 11th, 1864
Colonel Gottlieb Hoburg to August 29th, 1865
Philadelphia Companies A and K
Total Enrollment: 197 Officers and Men
The 74th was largely composed of men of German birth or parentage. Originating at Pittsburgh, the majority of its recruits were from the western counties. It was mustered into the United States service as the 35th Regiment upon September 14th, 1861, and was then sent to camp at Engle & Wolf's farm, near the Columbia Bridge, upon the Schuylkill River, Philadelphia.
Col. Schimmelfennig was an experienced officer of the Prussian Army, and this fact attracted many German veterans to the regiment. While at Philadelphia a detachment, locally recruited by Capt. Alexander Von Mitzel, was added to Company K. Later, while in winter quarters at Hunter's Chapel, Virginia, a Philadelphia company joined the command, under Capt. Von Hartung. This company had been on duty at Fort Delaware and became Company A. The number of the regiment was changed to 74th and it was attached to Blenker's German Division.
In March, 1862, the 74th marched to the Shenandoah Valley to reinforce Fremont's Mountain Department, assisting in driving Stonewall Jackson's force southward after the battle of Cross Keys. Under Major-Gen. Franz Sigel a forced march was made to Cedar Mountain. In Pope's movement of August, 1862, the regiment met the enemy at Freeman's Ford. Here Brig. Gen. Henry Bohlen, commanding the brigade, was killed, Col. Schimmelfennig taking his place. Battles followed at Groveton and Bull Run (second). During the Antietam campaign the 74th was posted in the defenses of Washington. Col. Schimmelfennig having been promoted, the command fell upon Major Von Hartung, who subsequently became colonel.
Under Hooker, in 1863, Sigel's troops were in the disaster at Chancellorsville, where the 74th lost heavily while protecting the retreat. The First Brigade, Third Division of the Eleventh Corps, arrived at Gettysburg early in the afternoon of July 1st. The 74th was first advanced to the west of the Carlisle Road in support of artillery. In this position the regiment lost one hundred and three officers and men out of one hundred and thirty-four present (at the site of its monument).* The remnant retreated to the new line at Cemetery Hill, where those of the command who had been on picket duty rejoined. This position was held to the end of the battle.
Upon August 7th the Third Division, now under Brig.-Gen. George H. Gordon, was transported to South Carolina, serving upon the coast islands near Charleston until August 17th, 1864. In September the majority of the veterans were mustered out. The regiment was recruited and reorganized and assigned to guard the Baltimore and Ohio Railway. In March, 1865, seven new companies were added. The regiment was finally mustered out at Clarksburg, Va., upon August 29th, 1865.
Forty of the commissioned officers serving at various periods with regiment were from Philadelphia.
TOTAL LOSSES (Regimental)
Killed in action - 2 officers; 39 men
Died of wounds - 19 men
Died of disease and other causes - 1 officer; 71 men
Wounded, not mortally - 9 officers; 129 men
Captured or missing - 4 officers; 128 men
BATTLES AND ENGAGEMENTS
Second Bull Run
* (Quoted from dedication address by Capt. Paul Rohrbacker, Gettysburg, July 2d, 1888.) The official records, as well as the monumental inscription at Gettysburg, testify that the 74th numbered, at that battle, three hundred and eighty-one officers and men, losing a total in killed, 10; wounded, 40; captured or missing, 60.