Regimental History as found within

The Union Army, Vol. 1

published in Madison, Wisc., 1908, pgs 410-411


Seventy-Fourth Infantry - Cols., A. Schimmelfennig, John Hamm, A Von Hartung, Gottlieb Hoburg; Liet Cols., Edward Freyhold, John Hamm, A Von Hartung, Alexander Von Mitzel, Carl Weitenheimer; Majs., John Hamm, Franz Blessing, A Von Hartung, Alexander Von Mitzel, Gustav Schleiter, Frederick Klenker, E.P. Rohbach. 


The 74th regiment, composed of German citizens from the cities of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and the counties of Allegheny, Westmoreland, Indiana, Columbia, Wyoming, Northumberland, Snyder, Union, Adams, and Berks, was recruited during the Summer of 1861, by a committee of Pittsburgh citizens duly authorized by the war department for that purpose.  The recruits were largely trained soldiers, and rendezvoused at Camp Wilkins, near Pittsburgh, where on September 14., 1861, they were mustered into U.S. service for three years, as the 35th Pa. Infantry.  Col. Schimmelfennig had been a Prussian staff officer and was a military man of fine attainments.  On Sept. 19, the regiment proceeded to Philadelphia, where it was joined by a large body of recruits under Capt. Von Mitzel.  Soon after it was ordered to Washington and a week later to Roach's mills, VA., thence to Hunter's Chapel, where it went into winter quarters.  While here Capt. Von Hartung's Philadelphia company, which had been on duty a Fort Delaware, was added to the regiment.  The winter was spent in drill, fatigue duty and work on the fortifications. (Bret Coulsen pointing out the location of Ft. Blenker).


In the spring of 1862 it was ordered with its division to Franklin, W. VA., to reinforce Gen. Fremont, then in command of the Mountain Department, and joined in the pursuit of Stonewall Jackson, being engaged with the enemy for the first time at the battle of Cross Keys, where it lost 6 killed and 14 wounded.  After the battle it moved to Mount Jackson and thence to Middletown; was posted to at Sperryville, from July 7 to Aug 8; then moved by forced marches the 40 miles to Cedar Mountain, but arrived too late for the battle at that point.  Falling back with Pope's army, it narrowly escaped being surrounded and captured at Freeman's Ford on the Rappahannock by the adroit tactics of its commander, Col. Schimmelfennig.  Its loss here was 12 killed, 2 officers and 35 men wounded, 3 drowned and 16 missing.  Col. Schimmelfennig now assumed command of the brigade, Gen. Bohlen having been killed and the regiment participated with its division under Gen. Carl Schurz in the disastrous battles at Groveton and the Second Battle of Bull Run [Rod's note - the 74th tour apart the center span of the bridge (above) at Bull Run to prevent the Confederate forces from following the fleeing Union army.] 


In the Antietam campaign it was at Washington and it later went into winter quarters near Stafford Court House, Va., receiving there a large number of recruits.  On the promotion of Col. Schimmelfennig to brigadier-general, Maj. Von Hartung succeeded to the command of the regiment.  The 74th arrived too late to share in the fighting at Fredericksburg, although ordered to the front at that time. 


As a part of Schimmelfennig’s brigade, Schurz's Division, Howard’s Corps [11th], it was heavily engaged at Chancellorsville, fighting on the second day with the most determined bravery.  When the regiments belonging to the 1st Division on the right broke and came rushing through its ranks, causing considerable disorder for a time, the most perfect order was soon restored by Co. Von Hartung.  With the other regiments of its brigade it quickly executed a change of front, checked the impetuous advance of the enemy and held him at bay for over an hour.  Its total loss in this battle was 52 killed, wounded and missing. 



It remained encamped at Stafford Court House until June 12, when it started with its corps for Gettysburg, where it arrived about noon on July 1, and immediately went into action taking position on the left of the corps, to the right of Mummasburg road, in front of Dilgers Ohio battery.  (This was the objective of the regiment and it along with its brigade managed to advance as far as the house and barn in the distance.  Dilger’s battery was focused on the cannon located in this picture.)   Its thin line was forced back to Cemetery Hill by the overwhelming forces of the enemy.  Lieut. Col. Von Mitzel was again a prisoner; and out of 14 officers and 120 men brought into action, 1 officer and 6 men were killed, 4 officers and 40 men were wounded and 52 men were reported missing.  For the next two days it held its position in front of the batteries stationed in the cemetery, (see picture at the right of the right of the 74th line in the Cemetery)  where it was joined by the men who had been detached on picket duty.  Its loss here was 1 officer and 8 men killed and 1 officer and 15 men wounded, a total in the battle of 136. 






On Aug. 7, with the division, it was ordered to Folly Island, S.C., arriving there on the 14th.  It remained in that vicinity for about a year, making frequent expeditions to other islands and taking part in the engagements on James Island in July, 1864, where it was under fire for several days at the time of the grand assault on the works of Charleston.  In Aug., 1864, it returned to Washington and garrisoned Forts Marcy and Ethan Allen for a time.  In September, 120 members whose term of enlistment had expired were mustered out after which the regiment went to West Virginia, where companies G and K and part of the field and staff were mustered out. 


At Grafton, many of the men reenlisted and a large number of recruits joined the regiment, which was from that time employed in guarding the line of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, with headquarters successively at Green Spring, Beverly, Clarksburg, and Parkersburg.  It was finally mustered out at Clarksburg on Aug 29, 1865.  The men proceed to Pittsburgh, where they were finally paid and discharged.