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Recapitulation of the Casualties in the First and Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, in the Battle of Fredericksburgh, December, 1862.
BATTLES OF PORT REPUBLIC AND CROSS-, order.
REPORT OF GENERAL JACKSON.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS, A. N. VA.,
Brigadier-General R. H. Chilton, A. A. and I. G.,
From information received respecting Shields's movements, and from the fact that he had been in possession of Front Royal for over forty-eight hours, and had not succeeded in effecting a junction with Fremont, as originally designed, I became apprehensive that he was moving via Luray, for the purpose of reaching New-Market, on my line of retreat, before my command should arrive there. To avoid such a result, I caused White-House Bridge, which was upon his as sumed line of march, over the south fork of the Shenandoah River to New-Market, to be burnt; and also Columbia Bridge, which was a few miles further up the river. On the second of June, the enemy's advance came within artillery range of, and commenced shelling our rear-guard, which caused most of the cavalry, and that part
This led General Ashby to one of those acts of personal heroism and prompt resource which strikingly marked his character. Dismounting from his horse, he collected from the road a small body of infantry from those who, from fatigue, were straggling behind their commands, and posting them in a piece of wood near the turnpike, he awaited the advance of the Federal cavalry, now pushing forward to reap the fruits of the panic produced by the shells. As they approached within easy range, he poured such an effective fire into their ranks as to empty a number of saddles and check their further pur suit for that day. Having transferred the Second and Sixth Virginia cavalry to Ashby, he was placed in command of the rear-guard. On the third, after my command had crossed the bridge over the Shenandoah, near Mount Jackson, GenAshby was ordered to destroy it, which he barely succeeded in accomplishing before the Federal forces reached the opposite bank of the river. Here his horse was killed by the enemy, and he made a very narrow escape with his life.
We reached Harrisonburgh at an early hour on the morning of the fifth, and, passing beyond that town, turned toward the east in the direction of Port Republic. On the sixth, General Ashby took position on the road between Harrisonburgh and Port Republic, and received a spirited charge from a portion of the enemy's cavalry, which resulted in the repulse of the enemy, and the capture of Colonel Wyndham and sixty-three others.
Apprehending that the Federals would make a more serious attack, Ashby called for an infantry support. The brigade of General George H. Stewart was accordingly ordered forward. In a short time the Fifty-eighth Virginia regiment became engaged with a Pennsylvania regiment called the Bucktails, when Colonel Johnson, of the First Maryland regiment, coming up in the hottest period of the fire, charged gallantly into its flank and drove the enemy, with heavy loss, from the field, capturing Lieutenant-Colonel Kane, commanding. In this skirmish our infantry loss was seventeen (17) killed, fifty (50) wounded, and three missing. In this affair General Turner Ashby was killed. An official report is not an appropriate place for more than a passing notice of the distinguished dead; but the
of its artillery nearest the enemy, to retreat in dis-close relation which General Ashby bore to my
command for most of the previous twelve months, with which the Federals had advanced, was abanwill justify me in saying that as a partisan offi-doned, and subsequently fell into our hands. cer, I never knew his superior. His daring was proverbial; his powers of endurance almost incredible; his tone of character heroic, and his sagacity almost intuitive in divining the purposes and movements of the enemy.
opposite bank, when the enemy disappeared in the wood around a bend in the road. This attack of General Shields had hardly been repulsed, before Ewell was seriously engaged with Fre mont, moving on the opposite side of the river. The enemy pushed forward, driving in the Fif teenth Alabama, Colonel Canty, from their post on picket. This regiment made a gallant resistance, which so far checked the Federal advance as to afford Generall Ewell time for the choice of his position at leisure.
His ground was well selected, on a commanding ridge, a rivulet and large field of open ground in front, wood on both flanks, and his line intersected near its centre by the road leading to Port Republic. General Trimble's brigade was posted on the right, somewhat in advance of his centre. The batteries of Courtnay, Lusk, Brockenbrough, and Rains in the centre, General Stewart's brigade on the left, and General Elzey's brigade in rear of the centre, and in position to strengthen either wing. Both wings were in the wood.
About this time, a considerable body of infantry was seen advancing up the same road. Our batteries opened with marked effect upon the retreating cavalry and advancing infantry. In a short time the infantry followed the cavalry, The main body of my command had now falling back to Lewis's, three miles down the reached the vicinity of Port Republic. The vil-river, pursued for a mile by our batteries on the lage is situated in the angle formed by the junction of the North and South-Rivers, tributaries of the south fork of the Shenandoah. Over the larger and deeper of those two streams, the NorthRiver, there was a wooden bridge, connecting the town with the road leading to Harrisonburgh. Over the South-River there was a passable ford. The troops more immediately under my own eye were encamped on the high ground north of the village, about a mile from the river. General Ewell was some four miles distant, near the road leading from Harrisonburgh to Port Republic. General Fremont had arrived with his forces in the vicinity of Harrisonburgh, and General Shields was moving up the east side of the south fork of the Shenandoah, and was then at Conrad's Store, some fifteen miles below Port Republic, my position being about equi-distant from both hostile armies. To prevent a junction of the two Federal armies, I had caused the bridge over the south fork of the Shenandoah at Conrad's Store to be destroyed. Intelligence having been received that General Shields was advancing further up the river, Captain Sipe, with a small cavalry force, was sent down during the night of the seventh to verify the report and gain such other information respecting the enemy as he could. Captain G. W. Myers, of the cavalry, was subsequently directed to move with his company in the same direction for the purpose of supporting Captain Sipe, if necessary. The next morning Captain Myers's company came rushing back in disgraceful disorder, announcing that the Federal forces were in close pursuit. Captain Chipley and his company of cavalry, which was in town, also shamefully fled. The brigades of Generals Taliaferro and Winder were soon under arms, and ordered to occupy positions immediately north of the bridge. By this time the Fed-reached the spot, having, in the mean time, some eral cavalry, accompanied by artillery, were in sight, and, after directing a few shots toward the bridge, they crossed South River, and dashing into the village, planted one of their pieces at the southern entrance of the bridge. In the mean time the batteries of Wooding, Poague, and Car- General Taylor, of the Eighth brigade of Louisi penter were being placed in position, and Gen-ana troops, having arrived from the vicinity of eral Taliaferro's brigade having reached the vicinity of the bridge, was ordered to charge across, capture the piece, and occupy the town. Whilst one of Poague's pieces was returning the fire of that of the enemy at the far end of the bridge, the Thirty-seventh Virginia regiment, Colonel Fulkerson, after delivering its fire, gallantly charged over the bridge, captured the gun, and, followed by the other regiments of the brigade, entered the town, and dispersed and drove back the Federal cavalry. Another piece of artillery,
About ten o'clock, the enemy threw out his skirmishers, and shortly after posted his artillery opposite to our batteries. The artillery fire was kept up with great animation and spirit on both sides for several hours. In the mean time a brigade of Federal forces advanced under cover, upon the right, occupied by General Trimble, who reserved his fire until they reached the crest of the hill, in easy range of his musketry, when he poured a deadly fire from his whole front, under which they fell back. Observing a battery about being posted on the enemy's left, half a mile in front, General Trimble, now supported by the Thirteenth and Twenty-fifth Virginia regiments, of Elzey's brigade, pushed forward for the purpose of taking it, but found it withdrawn before he
spirited skirmishing with its infantry supports. General Trimble had now advanced more than a mile from his original position, while the Federal advance had fallen back to the ground occupied by them in the morning.
the bridge, at Port Republic, toward which he had moved in the morning, reported to General Ewell about two P. M., and was placed in rear. Colonel Patton, with the Forty-second and Fortyeighth Virginia regiments, and First battalion of Virginia regulars, also joined, and, with the remainder of General Elzey's brigade, was added to the centre and left, then supposed to be threatened. General Ewell having been informed by Lieutenant Heinrichs, of the engineer corps, who had been sent out to reconnoitre, that the enemy
was moving a large column on his left, did not advance at once; but subsequently ascertaining that no attack was designed by the force referred to, he advanced, drove in the enemy's skirmishers, and, when night closed, was in position on ground previously held by the enemy. During this fight Brigadier-Generals Elzey and Stewart were wounded, and disabled from command.
This engagement with Fremont has generally been known as the battle of Cross-Keys, in which our troops were commanded by General Ewell. I had remained at Port Republic during the principal part of the eighth, expecting a renewal of the attack. As no movement was made by General Shields to renew the action that day, I determined to take the initiative and attack him the following morning.
the Fifty-eighth and Fifty-fourth Virginia regiments, directed by General Ewell and led by Colonel Scott, although his command was afterward driven back to the woods with severe loss. The batteries were all safely withdrawn except one of Captain Poague's six-pounder guns, which was carried off by the enemy.
Accordingly, General Ewell was directed to move from his position at an early hour, on the morning of the ninth, toward Port Republic, leaving General Trimble with his brigade, supported by Colonel Patton with the Forty-second Virginia infantry and the First battalion of Virginia regulars, to hold Fremont in check, with instructions if hard pressed to retire across the North-River, and burn the bridge in their rear. Soon after ten o'clock, General Trimble with the last of our forces had crossed the North River, and the bridge was destroyed. In the mean time, before five in the morning, General Winder's brigade was in Port Republic, and having crossed the south fork by a temporary wagon bridge, placed there for the purpose, was moving down the river road to attack the forces of General Shields. Advancing a mile and a half, he encountered the Federal pickets and drove them
Whilst Winder's command was in this critical condition, the gallant and successful attack of General Taylor on the Federal left and rear, directed attention from the front, and led to a concentration of their force upon him. Moving to the right along the mountain acclivity, through a rough and tangled forest, and much disordered by the rapidity and obstructions of the march, Taylor emerged with his command from the wood, just as the loud cheers of the enemy had proclaimed their success in front; and although assailed by a superior force in front and flank, with their guns in position within point-blank range, the charge was gallantly made, and the battery, consisting of six guns, fell into our hands. Three times was this battery lost and won in the desperate and determined efforts to capture and recover it. After holding the batteries for a short time, a fresh brigade of the enemy advancing upon his flank, made a vigorous and wellconducted attack upon him, accompanied by a galling fire of canister from a piece suddenly brought into position, at a distance of about three hundred and fifty yards. Under this combined attack, Taylor fell back to the skirt of the wood, near which the captured battery was stationed, and from that point continued his fire upon the advancing enemy, who succeeded in in.recapturing one of the guns, which he carried off, leaving both caisson and limber. The enemy, now occupied with Taylor, halted his advance to the front. Winder made a renewed effort to rally his command, and succeeding, with the Seventh Louisiana, under Major Penn, (the Colonel and Lieutenant-Colonel having been carried from the field wounded,) and the Fifth Virginia regiment, Colonel Funk, he placed part of Poague's battery in the position previously occu
The enemy had judiciously selected his position for defence. Upon a rising ground near the Lewis House, he had planted six guns which commanded the road from Port Republic, and swept the plateau for a considerable distance in front. As General Winder moved forward his brigade, a rapid and severe fire of shell was opened upon it, Captain Poague, with two Parrott guns, was promptly placed in position on the left of the road to engage, and if possible dislodgepied by it, and again opened upon the enemy, the Federal battery. Captain Carpenter was who were moving against Taylor's left flank, apsent to the right to select a position for his bat-parently to surround him in the wood. Chew's tery, but finding it impracticable to drag it battery now reported, and was placed in position, through the dense undergrowth, it was brought and did good service. Soon after, guns from the back, and part of it placed near Poague. The batteries of Brockenbrough, Courtnay, and Rains, artillery fire was well sustained by our batteries, were brought forward and placed in position. but found unequal to that of the enemy. In the Whilst these movements were in progress on the mean time, Winder being now reënforced by the left and front, Colonel Scott, having rallied his Seventh Louisiana regiment, Colonel Hays, see-command, led them, under the orders of Gening no mode of silencing the Federal battery, or eral Ewell to the support of General Taylor, escaping its destructive missiles, but by a rapid who pushing forward with the reënforcecharge and the capture of it, advanced with great ments just received, and assisted by the well-diboldness for some distance, but encountered such rected fire of our artillery, forced the enemy to a heavy fire of artillery and small-arms as greatly fall back, which was soon followed by his preto disorganize his command, which fell back in cipitate retreat, leaving many killed and wounded disorder. The enemy advanced across the field, upon the field. General Taliaferro, who the preand, by a heavy musketry fire, forced back our vious day had occupied the town, was directed infantry supports, in consequence of which our to continue to do so with part of his troops, and, guns had to retire. The enemy's advance was with the remainder, to hold the elevated position checked by a spirited attack upon their flank, by on the north side of the river, for the purpose of
cooperating, if necessary, with General Trimble, and prevent his being cut off from the main body of the army by the destruction of the bridge in his rear. But finding the resistance more obstinate than I anticipated, orders were sent to Taliaferro and Trimble to join the main body. Taliaferro came up in time to discharge an effective volley into the ranks of the wavering and retreating enemy. The pursuit was continued some five miles beyond the battle-field by Generals Taliaferro and Winder with their brigades and portions of the batteries of Wooding and Caskie. Colonel Munford, with cavalry and some artillery, advanced about three miles beyond the other troops. Our forces captured in the pursuit about four hundred and fifty (450) prisoners, some wagons, one piece of abandoned artillery, and about eight hundred muskets. Some two hundred and seventy-five (275) wounded were paroled in the hospitals near Port Re-Hotchkiss, one giving the route of the army durpublic. ing the retreat from Strasburgh to Port Republic, and the other of the battle-field.
lowing members of my staff: Colonel Abner Smead, Assistant Inspector-General; Major R. L. Dabney, Assistant Adjutant-General; First Lieutenant A. S. Pendleton, A.D.C.; First Lieutenant H. K. Douglass, Assistant InspectorGeneral; First Lieutenant J. K. Boswell, Chief Engineer, and Colonel William L. Jackson, volunteer A.D.C. The Medical Director, Dr. Hunter McGuire, gave special attention to the comfort and treatment of the wounded. Major W. J. Hawks, Chief Commissary, and Major J. A. Harman, Chief Quartermaster, had their departments in good condition. For further information respecting the conduct of officers and men who distinguished themselves, as well as for a more detailed account of the movement of troops, I would respectfully refer you to the accompanying official reports of other officers.
I forward, herewith, two maps, by Mr. J.
Whilst the forces of Shields were in full retreat, and our troops in pursuit, Fremont appeared on the opposite bank of the south fork of the Shenandoah, with his army, and opened his artillery upon our ambulances, and parties engaged in the humane labors of attending to our dead and wounded, and the dead and wounded of the enemy. The next day, withdrawing his forces, he retreated down the Valley.
On the morning of the twelfth, Munford entered Harrisonburgh, where, in addition to wagons, medical stores and camp equipage, he captured some two hundred small-arms. At that point there also fell into our hands about two hundred of Fremont's men, many of them severely wounded on the eighth, and most of the others had been left behind as sick. The Federal surgeons attending them were released, and those under their care paroled.
On the twelfth, the troops recrossed South River, and encamped near Weyer's Cave. For the purpose of rendering thanks to God for having crowned our arms with success, and to implore his continued favor, divine service was held in the army on the fourteenth.
The army remained near Weyer's Cave until the seventeenth, when in obedience to instructions from the commanding general of the department, it moved toward Richmond.
I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant, T. J. JACKSON,
GENERAL EWELL'S REPORTS.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, VALLEY DISTRICT,
The official reports of the casualties of the battle show a loss of sixteen (16) officers killed, sixty-seven (67) wounded, and two (2) missing; one hundred and seventeen (117) non-commising report of the action of the eighth instant sioned officers and privates killed, eight hundred at Cross-Keys, between the division commanded and sixty-two (862) wounded, and thirty-two by me and the forces under Major-General Fremissing, making a total loss of one thousand and mont. I was ordered on the seventh, by the ninety-six, (1096,) including skirmishers on the General Commanding, to occupy the advance, sixth; since evacuation of Winchester, one and my division encamped for that night near thousand one hundred and sixty-seven, (1167 ;) Union Church. The enemy made a reconnoisalso one piece of artillery. If we add to the sance in the afternoon, and, going forward, I prisoners captured on the sixth and ninth, those found General Elzey drawing up his own and who were paroled at Harrisonburgh, and in hospi- General Taylor's brigades in position. I at once tals in the vicinity of Port Republic, it will make determined to meet the enemy on the ground the number of the enemy who fell into our pos- selected by General Elzey. session about nine hundred and seventy-five, (975,) exclusive of his killed and such of his wounded as he removed. The small-arms taken on the ninth, and at Harrisonburgh, numbered about one thousand (1000.) We captured seven pieces of artillery, with their caissons and all of their limbers, except one. The conduct of the officers and men, during the action, merits the highest praise.
On the morning of the eighth, the enemy advanced, driving in the Fifteenth Alabama, Colonel Cantey, from their post on picket. The regiment made a gallant resistance, enabling me to take position at leisure. The camp-fires left by the regiment-no tents or any thing elsewere the camps from which the enemy report to have driven us. At this time I had present Elzey's, Trimble's, and Stewart's brigades, short of five thousand men-Taylor's having been ance, in the transmission of orders, from the fol- I ordered to Port Republic. The general features
During the battle, I received valuable assist
of the ground were a valley and rivulet in my front, woods on both flanks, and a field of some hundreds of acres, where the road crossed the centre of my line. My side of the valley being more defined and commanding the other.
General Trimble's brigade was posted a little in advance of my centre, on the right; General Elzey in rear of the centre, and General Stewart on the left. The artillery was in the centre. Both wings were in woods. The centre was weak, having open ground in front, where the enemy was not expected. General Elzey was in position to strengthen either wing.
tre, directing the artillery. General George H. Stewart was severely wounded, after rendering valuable aid in command of the left.
I had Courtnay's, Brockenbrough's, Raines's, and Lusk's batteries. The enemy testified to the efficiency of their fire. Captain Courtnay opened the fight, and was, for hours, exposed to a terrible storm of shot and shell. He and Captain Brockenbrough have been under my observation since the campaign opened, and I can testify to their efficiency on this as on former occasions. The loss in all the batteries shows the warmth of the fire. I was well satisfied About ten, the enemy felt along my front with with them all. The history of the Maryland skirmishers, and shortly after posted his artil- regiment, gallantly commanded by Colonel lery, chiefly opposite mine. He advanced, under Bradley T. Johnson, during the campaign of the cover, on General Trimble, with a force, accord- Valley, would be the history of every action ing to his statement, of two brigades, which from Front Royal to Cross-Keys. On the sixth were repulsed with such signal loss that they instant, near Harrisonburgh, the Fifty-eighth Virdid not make another determined effort. Gen-ginia regiment was engaged with the Pennsyleral Trimble had been reenforced by the Thir-vania " Bucktails," the fighting being close and teenth and Twenty-fifth Virginia regiments, Col- bloody. Colonel Johnson came up with his onel Walker and Lieutenant-Colonel Duffy, of regiment in the hottest period of the affair, and, General Elzey's brigade. These regiments as- by a dashing charge in flank, drove the enemy sisted in the repulse of the enemy. General off with heavy loss, capturing the LieutenantTrimble, in turn, advanced and drove the enemy Colonel (Kane) commanding. In commemoration more than a mile, and remained on his flank of their gallant conduct, I ordered one of the ready to make the final attack. General Taylor, captured bucktails to be appended as a trophy to with the Eighth brigade, composed of Louisiana their flag. The gallantry of the regiment on this troops, reported about two P.M., and was placed occasion is worthy of acknowledgment from a in the rear. Colonel Patton, with the Forty-higher source, more particularly as they avenged second and Forty-eighth regiments, and Irish the death of the gallant General Ashby, who fell battalion, Virginia volunteers, also joined, and at the same time. Two color-bearers were shot with the remainder of General Elzey's brigade, down in succession, but each time the colors was added to the centre and left, then threat- were caught before reaching the ground, and ened. I did not push my success at once, be- were finally borne by Corporal Shanks to the cause I had no cavalry, and it was reported and close of the action. On the eighth instant, at reaffirmed by Lieutenant Heinrich's topograph- Cross-Keys, they were opposed to three of the ical engineers, sent to reconnoitre, that the ene- enemy's regiments in succession. My staff at my was moving a large column two miles to my Cross-Keys consisted of Lieutenant-Colonel J. left. As soon as I could determine this not to M. Jones and Major James Barbour, Adjutantbe an attack, I advanced both my wings, drove General's Department; Lieutenants G. Campbell in the enemy's skirmishers, and when night Brown, and T. T. Turner, aids; and Captain closed, was in position on the ground previously Hugh M. Nelson, volunteer aid. These officers held by the enemy, ready to attack him at dawn. were much exposed during the day, and were My troops were recalled to join in the attack worked hard, over an extensive field. Their on Port Republic. The enemy's attack was de- services were valuable, and were rendered with cided by four P.M., it being principally directed zeal and ability. Lieutenant Brown was painagainst General Trimble, and, though from their fully wounded by a fragment of shell toward the own statement they outnumbered us on that close of the fight. I append a list of casualties, flank two to one, it had signally failed. General showing forty-two killed, and two hundred and Trimble's command, including the two regiments eighty-seven killed, wounded, and missing. I on his right, under Colonel Walker, is entitled to buried my dead and brought off all the wounded, the highest praise for the gallant manner in which except a few whose mortal agonies would have it repulsed the enemy's main attack. His bri- been uselessly increased by any change of posigade captured one of their colors. As before tion. mentioned, the credit of selecting the position is Some of the enemy's wounded were brought due to General Elzey. I availed myself fre- off and arrangements made for moving them all, quently during the action of that officer's coun- when I was ordered to another field. There are sel, profiting largely by his known military skill good reasons for estimating their loss at not less and judgment. He was much exposed. His than two thousand in killed, wounded, and prihorse was wounded early in the action, and at a later period of the day was killed by a rifle-ball, | hundred and one at one spot, fifteen at another, which at the same time inflicted upon the rider a wound that forced him to retire from the field. He was more particularly employed in the cen
soners. On a part of the field they buried one
and a house containing some of their dead was said to have been burned by them: and this is only a part of what they lost. They were chiefly