General Heinrich Bohlen


        Bohlen, Heinrich; b. 1810 in Bremen. He was a rich merchant in Philadelphia and had a curious liking for the military. He participated in the siege of Antwerp in 1832, was a spectator in the Crimean War and an officer in the Mexican War. In 1861 he organized the 75th Pennsylvania Regiment at his own expense, became its colonel and leader of the brigade under Blenker in 1861, He fought honorably at Cross Keys where he launched a second attack [after the brigade of Stahel had been forced back as a result of von Wutschel's premature attack] which failed because of the inactivity of the artillery. General Bohlen was shot at Freeman's Ford on the Rappahannock on August 22, 1862. As he was hit by the bullet, he was bravely leading his troops against the numerically superior enemy, Since Bohlen was hit in the back, the myth became popular that he was the victim of his own men, but this assumption is probably false, and it is actively denied by General Stahel and especially by the men of the 75th. Bohlen was one of the best-liked officers of the entire corps. One of his grandchildren is Krupp von Bohlen, like current chef of Friedrich Krupp in Essen.
        Boat accident of the 75th Pennsylvania Regiment: Herm, Nachtigall of the 75th Pennsylvania Regiment wrote the author about this accident. "On April 15 the 75th Regiment under Colonel Bohlen was supposed to cross the Shenandoah, swollen with water, at Castleman's Ferry near Paris, Va. Some of the men had already crossed in rafts. A barge partly burned by the rebels was obtained and loaded with 58 men, including Captain Wyck and Lieutenant Winter. When the barge was in the middle of the tearing stream, the men couldn't hold the rope suspended across the river. The barge capsized, and with a terrible scream, all occupants were thrown into the raging water. All drowned." Nachtigall doesn't mention that Colonel Bohlen forced the men to occupy tire pitiful boat against their protest. This assertion is made by Heusinger, who was another eyewitness of the accident.

History of the 75th Regiment Pa. Vols. by Herrmann Nachtigall 7/1886 C. B. Kretschman (Translated by North Riverside, Ill. 1987)