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ketry, as the Rebels closed around
them, their artillery opening at day
light." Banks had now less than 7,000 men,” opposed to more than 20,000, flushed with victory, and confident that the day would witness the capture or destruction of our little army. Col. Geo. H. Gordon commanded our right; Col. Dudley Donnelly our left. Gen. Hatch, who had been cut off at Middletown, had just rejoined with his cavalry. Facing the enemy boldly, our men held their ground for five hours, inflicting and suffering considerable loss; until, Jackson's entire army having by this time been brought up, it was manifest that further resistance was madness, and could only result in our destruction. Our trains being by this time well on the road, the order to retreat was given, and our line of battle, under a withering fire of musketry from left, right, and center, broke into column of march and moved rapidly through Winchester, amid the deafening yells of their exulting pursuers, which were echoed with delirious frenzy by the Winchester Rebels.” The 2d Massachusetts, Lt.-Col. Andrews, which, with the 3d Wisconsin, Col. Ruger, formed our rear-guard, halted, undismayed by the hideous din, in a street of the town, to re-form its line, and then resumed its rapid but steady march, sharply followed, but not seriously annoyed, by the eager foe. Our troops moved in three parallel
columns, each protected by an efficient rear-guard, and reached Martinsburg, 22 miles distant, in the course of the afternoon. Here a halt of two and a half hours was taken, to rest and refresh; our rear-guard leaving that town at 7 P.M., and reaching the Potomac, opposite Williamsport, 12 miles farther, in the course of the evening. Gen. Geo. II. Stewart, with the Rebel cavalry, pursued so far as Martinsburg; but Jackson halted his infantry not far beyond Winchester; though he sent a brigade, three days later," to Charlestown, driving out a small Union force which held that place, and pursuing it to Halltown, which was occupied next day by the main body of his army. Gen. Banks admits a loss, in his hurried retreat for 53 miles, of 38 killed, 155 wounded, and 711 missing; total, 904; with 55 out of 500 wagons, and no guns. This of course does not include the losses by Col. Kenly’s rout at Front Royal, nor the sick and wounded left in hospitals at Strasburg and Winchester. We lost also a large amount of quartermaster and commissary stores, most of which were destroyed. Jackson admits a total loss, including that at Front Royal, of 68 killed and 329 wounded; and claims to have captured 2 guns, 9,354 small arms, and about 3,050 prisoners, including 750 sick and wounded, whom he paroled and left in the hospitals when he retreated,
* May 25.
*Gen. Banks's official report says:
“My own command consisted of 2 brigades of less than 4,000 men, all told, with 900 cavalry, 10 Parrott guns, and one battery of 6-pounders, smooth-bore cannon. To this should be added
the 10th Maine regiment of infantry, and 5 companies of Maryland cavalry, stationed at Winchester, which were engaged in the action."
* Gen. Gordon, in his official report, says:
“My retreating column suffered serious loss in the streets of Winchester: males and females vied with each other in increasing the number of their victims by firing from the houses, throwing hand-grenades, hot water, and missiles of every
sending some 2,300 up the Valley. He attributes his failure to crush Banks entirely to the misconduct of Ashby's cavalry, who stopped to pillage our abandoned wagons between Middletown and Newtown, and could not thereafter be brought to the front till too late.” Jackson, after menacing Isarper's Ferry," which was held by Gen. Rufus Saxton, called in his detachments and commenced a rapid retreat." It was high time. Gen. Shields, whose division had been detached from Banks, and marched over a hundred miles to join McDowell at Fredericksburg, to replace the division of Gen. Franklin—already sent to McClellan—and enable McDowell to move directly on Richmond, was now ordered" from Washington to postpone this movement, and push 20,000 men rapidly to the Shenandoah, along the line of the Manassas Gap Railroad. Gen. Fremont, who had concentrated his little
army at Franklin, Pendleton county, 24 miles north of Monterey, was likewise ordered" by telegraph from Washington to hasten across the main range of the Alleghanies to IIarrisonburg, hardly 50 miles distant, and thus intercept the retreat of Jackson up the valley, and cóoperate with McDowell and Shields to crush him. There is a direct road from Franklin to IIarrisonburg, not absolutely impassable by an army, though it crosses four distinct ranges of steep mountains ; but Gen. Fremont's trains were at Moorefield, 40 miles north by east, and to attempt crossing without them was to doom his army to starvation, there being little for man or beast to eat in those wild mountains. IIe therefore decided to go by Moorefield, which compelled him to go 20 miles farther northeast, to Wardensville, in order to find a practicable route across the mountains. Stripping his army as naked as possible, he left Franklin next morning,” the soldiers discarding even their knapsacks, but taking five days' rations of hard bread; and thus, through constant rain, and over mountain roads that could be made barely passable, he crossed the Alleghanies and descended into the Walley, reaching and occupying Strasburg on the evening of June 1st, just in time to be too late to head Jackson, who had retreated through that place a few hours before. Next morning, Gen. Bayard,” with the cavalry advance of Shields's division, reached that point. Shields, however, pushed up the South Fork of the Shenandoah, on the other side of Massanutten Mountain, expecting to head Jackson at some point farther south; while Fremont followed him directly down the North Fork, by Woodstock and Mount Jackson, to Harrisonburg. The advance of each was greatly embarrassed by the many streams which make their way down from the mountains into either branch of the Shenandoah, and which were now swollen to raging torrents by the incessant rains; Jackson of course burning or breaking down the bridges as he passed them, and sending cavalry across to destroy the more important
* Speaking of our retreat from Winchester, he says:
“The Federal forces, upon falling back into the town, preserved their organization remarkably well. In passing through its streets, however, they were thrown into confusion; and, shortly after debouching into the plain and turnpike to Martinsburg, and after being fired upon by our artillery, they presented the aspect of a mass of disordered fugitives. Never have I seen an opportunity when it was in the power of cavalry to reap a richer harvest of the fruits of victory.”
* May 29 " May 30.
* Gen. McDowell, in his testimony before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, states that Shields's division, 11,000 strong, raising his entire force—not including Franklin's division, already sent to McClellan—to 41,000 men, joined him at or near Fredericksburg either on the 22d or 23d of May, but in want of artillery ammunition: that which they had having just been condemned at Catlett's Station, and the new supply ordered from the Washington arsenal having got aground on the flats of the Potomac and thus been delayed. On Saturday, the 24th, the President and Secretary of War came down to conser
with him, and found him not yet ready for the contemplated advance on Richmond, but that he would be that asternoon, and that Shields's division could go on Sunday. He [McDowell] added, that he had once before moved on Sunday —alluding to the battle of Bull Run—and had been very much condemned for it all over the country, but that he was ready to do so again. The President thereforo suggested that he might get a “good ready,” and start on Monday, which was agreed on. Messrs. Lincoln and Stanton returned to Washington that night, and “had hardly left before a telegram came announcing this raid of Jackson up [down] the Shenandoah Valley.” This was soon followed by an order to send a division up after Jackson. McDowell adds: “I did so, although I replied that it was a crushing blow to us all.” The President ordered another brigade to move up there, and then another brigade, and then another regiment. Two divisions were thus sent before McDowell, whose heart was set on the Richmond movement, followed himself.
* May 24.
of those in front of Shields. Passing through II arrisonburg,” Jackson diverged from the great road leading southwardly to Staunton, moving south-easterly, with intent to cross the South Fork at Port Republic. His rear was bravely and ably protected by the 2d and 6th Virginia cavalry, Gen. Turner Ashby, who that day repulsed a spirited charge of our cavalry in advance, capturing Col. Percy Wyndham and 63 men. Being still sharply pressed, Ashby called for an infantry support; when the brigade of Gen. Geo. II. Stewart was promptly ordered up, and was soon hotly engaged with the Pennsylvania Bucktails, whose commander, Lt.-Col. Kane, was wounded and taken prisoner. The Itebel loss in this affair was numerically less than ours, being but 20 killed and 50 wounded; but among the killed was Ashby himself, whose loss was at least equal to that of a regiment. Always fighting at the head of his men, with the most reckless self-exposure, his fate was merely a question of time. For outpost and skirmishing service, he left no equal behind him in either army. Being now within a few miles of Port Republic, where his trains and artillery must be taken over a wooden bridge across the larger of the two streams into which the south branch again forks at this place, and over the other and smaller branch by a ford, Jackson was obliged to turn and fight in order to gain time. Accordingly, Maj.-Gen. Ewell, with the rear division of his army, halted ” near Union Church, and took up a strong position along a ridge which here crosses the road, with his flanks well protected by timber. He had but 5,000 men directly in hand; but the residue of Jackson's army was between him and Port Republic, 4 or 5 miles distant, ready to be sent up as required. Fremont pushed out of Harrisonburg at 6 o'clock next morning,” and before 9 his advance was engaged near a little hamlet known as CROSSREYs, some seven miles on. Ewell's three brigades, under Trimble, Elzey, and Stewart, ranged from right to left, with his artillery in the center. Gen. Dick Taylor, with a Louisiana, and Col. Patton, with a Virginia brigade, came to his aid when wanted. Gen, Fremont's order of battle, a mile and a half long, was formed with the 32d, 55th, 73d, 75th, and 82d Ohio, under Brig.-Gen. Schenck, on the right, and the 2d, 3d, and 5th Virginia, with the 25th Ohio, under Gen. Milroy, in the center, with the 8th, 41st, and 45th New York, and 27th Pennsylvania, and what were left of the Bucktails, under Gen. Stahl, on the left, supported by Gen. Bohlen's brigade; while the remainder of Blenker's division was held in reserve. Col. Cluseret, with the 60th Ohio, 8th Virginia, and Garibaldi Guards, had held the advance
* Gen. McDowell, in his testimony aforesaid, blames Gen. Ord, commanding one of his divi. sions, for lack of energy in pushing it on from Front Royal to Strasburg, and adds, that he sent forward Gen. Shields from Front Royal with express orders “to go on the direct road to Strasburg, and not cross the North Fork of the Shenandoah until near that place.” He adds:
“After some time in getting Ord's, or rather Ricketts's, division together, I started out to the front. I met one of Gen. Shields's aids-decamp coming in from Front Royal, and asked him how far out he had met Gen. Shields. He said
he had not met him at all. I told him he had started to go out, and he said he must have lost his way. Without stopping to see what had become of him, I took Bayard's cavalry brigade, the only one ready to move, and sent it forward by the direct road to Strasburg. I then went to see where Gen. Shields was, and found him over on the road toward Winchester. He had sent his troops on that road, instead of on the one I had ordered him to send them on. He said that he had received information from his aid-de-camp that Jackson had fallen back, and he had sent his troops this way. When I got up there, they were coming in. Wol. it Was too late to get ahead of Jackson then
through the morning, but had now fallen in between Schenck and Milroy. Thus formed, our army advanced steadily and successfully, under a storm of shot and shell, losing heavily in men, but constantly gaining ground, until after 3 o'clock; when Stahl's brigade, having passed through the wood in its front to a clover-field, which gradually ascended to another wood filled with Rebels beyond, encountered a murderous fire, by which its ranks were fearfully thinned and its progress arrested. Two of Bohlen's regiments were ordered up to its support; but, before they could arrive, the brigade had recoiled; understanding, it was said, that they were to give place to Bohlen's men, instead of being sustained by them. Up to this moment, Schenck, on our right, had been making slow but steady progress; but he now halted by order, and finally receded for a mile, finding that Milroy had moved toward the left, and that he must follow or be isolated. Two hours later, the Rebels cannonaded him in his new position, but were easily and quickly driven off by his batteries. Our total loss in this indecisive action was 664, two-thirds of it in Stahl's brigade; and our troops slept on the battle-field, expecting to renew the fight next morning. Gen. Ewell's report admits a total loss on their side of 329; but among their severely wounded were Gens. Elzey and Stewart. During the night, Ewell silently moved off, carrying away all but his mortally wounded. Jackson had turned aside from his direct line of retreat, because he found that, with an army nearly or
7° June 7.
** June 8.
quite equal to his own pressing closely on his rear, he must sometimes turn and fight, and thus permit the other hostile army, advancing on his flank, to gain on him. He was at Port Republic during the conflict at Cross-Keys, preparing to cross, and watching for Shields, whose column, though delayed by burnt bridges and swollen streams, had reached Conrad's Store, only 15 miles distant, and whose advance of cavalry and artillery, under Col. Carroll, appeared that day.” Carroll had been. told that Jackson's train was parked near Port Republic, with a drove of beef cattle; the whole guarded by some 200 or 300 cavalry; and he dashed into the village with his troopers and two guns, expecting to cross the bridge and make an easy capture of the aforesaid train and cattle. Had he comprehended the situation, he might have burned the bridge, and thereby exposed the enemy to serious loss, if not utter destruction. But Jackson was already there, with 2 infantry brigades and 3 batteries; by the fire of which Carroll was driven out in 20 minutes, falling back two miles and a half, upon Gen. Tyler's brigade of infantry, 2,000 strong. Tyler, who, on hearing of trouble ahead, had been rapidly hurrying to the rescue, ought now to have retreated also ; instead of which, he sent his men to bivouac, and went forward with Carroll to reconnoiter. His vedettes, at 4 A. M.,” reported that there had been no advance of the enemy across the bridge during the night, and that only their pickets were visible. Returning to his camp,
Tyler received and replied to a dispatch from Shields; but, before finishing his answer, he was apprised that the Rebels were in his front, endeavoring to outflank his left. The struggle that ensued was short: the Rebel attack being resisted with great gallantry by our men; but they were 3,000 at most, while their assailants were 8,000, with more behind them. We were even successful at first over Winder on our right; but to no purpose, since the odds against us were constantly increasing; and, at length, Dick Taylor's Louisiana brigade, which had flanked our left by an unobserved advance through the forest, made so sudden and overwhelming a dash at Col. Candy's battery on our left, that it was captured; its horses having been killed or disabled. Exasperated rather than dismayed by this loss, Col. Candy, with the 5th and 7th Ohio, made a spirited counter-charge, and retook his battery; but was unable, for lack of horses, to bring it off.” though he drove back the Rebel infantry and artillery, and actually captured one of their guns, which, with 67 prisoners, was brought off in our retreat, which was admirably. covered by Col. Carroll. The Rebels pursued about 5 miles, capturing 450 prisoners and about 800 muskets. Disastrous as was its result, there is no battle whereof the soldiers of the Union have more reason to be proud than that of Port Republic. Fremont awoke that morning to find his enemy vanished, and to follow on his track to Port Republic; arriving just in time to find the last Rebel safely across the river and the
*June 8. ** June 9.
"Jackson's official report says: “Three times
was this battery lost and won, in the desperate and determined efforts to capture and recover it."