Page images

other field at Port Republic, seven (7) miles distant, some of them without food for twenty-four hours. The commands of General Trimble and Colonel Patton were kept in position to hold the enemy, under Fremont, in check and keep him from advancing upon Port Republic, or taking any part in the engagement on that day. The difficulty in effecting the crossing of the south branch of the river at Port Republic, occa sioned a delay which separated the forces in my

of Blenker's division, notorious for months on account of their thefts and dastardly insults to women and children in that part of the State under Federal domination. The order of march of General Fremont was found on a staff-officer left in our hands. It shows seven brigades of infantry, besides numerous cavalry. I had three small brigades during the greater part of the action, and no cavalry at any time. They made no bayonet-charge, nor did they commit any particular ravages with grape or canister, al-command. When I reached the field, the Eighth though they state otherwise. Colonel Mercer and the Twenty-first Georgia tried to close with them three times, partly succeeding in overtaking them once. That officer is represented to have handled his regiment with great skill, and, with the Sixteenth Mississippi, Colonel Posey, was the closest engaged. Brigadier-General Trimble, Seventh brigade, had the brunt of the action, and is entitled to most thanks. Colonel Bradley T. Johnson, (First Maryland,) Colonel Carnot Posey, (Sixteenth Mississippi,) Colonel J. T. Mercer, (Twenty-first Georgia,) Captain Courtnay, (of the Courtnay battery,) are officers who were enabled to render highly valuable service. I regret I cannot go more into detail of those lower in rank, whose gallant services are recompensed by the esteem of their comrades and their own self-approval-after all, the highest and most enduring record.

Louisiana brigade, commanded by General Tay lor, had been sent by Major-General Jackson, under cover of the wood, to attack the enemy in flank and rear. One of the regiments of the Second (2d) brigade of my division was attached to the left, and I placed the Fifty-eighth, Colonel Scott, and the Forty-fourth Virginia, Colonel Letcher, under cover at the woods with the flank toward the enemy. When, after a severe strug gle, from the advantage of position and numbers the enemy were driving our front on the left, and the flank of the advancing enemy (at least two brigades) came in front, an advance was ordered. The two regiments, bravely led by Colonel Scott, rushed with a shout upon the enemy, taking him in flank. For the first time that day, the enemy was then driven back in disorder for some thousands of yards. At the same instant, while our artillery was retiring rapidly from the field, one piece was halted and opened fire upon the

I inclose a copy of General Fremont's order of march on the day of battle, and detailed re-enemy, showing great quickness and decision ports of the killed and wounded-names and regiments of the officers killed and wounded, and tabular statements of killed and wounded according to regiments. Also, the official report of Colonel J. A. Walker, commanding Fourth brigade. Respectfully, etc.,



N. VA., July 8, 1862.


[ocr errors]

Major R. L. Dabney, A.A. G., V.D.:
MAJOR: I have the honor to report the move-
ments of my division in the battle near Port
Republic, on the ninth of June, 1862.

in the officers commanding it. These efforts checked the enemy so long that, although Colonel Scott's command was driven back to the woods with severe loss, there was time to rally and lead them to the assistance of the Eighth brigade, General R. Taylor commanding, which was heard engaging the enemy far to their rear. The remnants of the two regiments reached General Taylor at the moment when, as shown in his report, fresh troops of the enemy had driven him from the battery he had captured. His brigade formed and advanced with these two regiments, and the enemy fled a second time from the battery and the field, after exchanging a few shots. The credit of first checking the enemy, and then assisting in his final repulse, When I received the order to march to Port and of the capture of the battery, is due to these Republic, to join in the attack on the forces two regiments. It would be difficult to find anunder General Shields, my command included, other instance of volunteer troops, after a severe in addition to my own division, the Second bri- check, rallying and again attacking the enemy. gade of the army of the Valley District. This To General Taylor and his brigade belongs the brigade, under the command of Colonel J. M. honor of deciding two battles-that of WinchesPatton, had been attached to my command dur- ter and this one. As soon as his fire was heard ing the engagement of the day before. My com- in rear and flank, the whole force of the enemy mand had been engaged with General Fremont turned to meet this new foe. Colonel Walker, throughout the day on the eighth of June, and commanding Fourth brigade, ordered by the slept upon their arms. The brigades command- Major-General commanding, to follow the Eighth ed by General Trimble and Colonel Patton, (ex-brigade, was lost in the mountains, reported to cept one regiment,) and the Seventh Louisiana me and joined in the pursuit. General Trimble, regiment, Colonel Hayes, had, before night closed commanding Seventh brigade, with part of Colin, been advanced within range of the enemy's onel Patton's command, was left to hold Fremont musketry. Day was breaking on the morning in check. The Fifty-second Virginia regiment of the ninth June, before these troops com- was detailed, and fought on the left flank with menced their march from this position to the General Winder. Colonel Scott reports: "I

Carpenter's battery arriving, I ordered it to be placed on the left of Poague's and the eight pieces of the two batteries to be directed on the retreating battery and column of infantry advancing up the road. The guns were admirably and rapidly served, pouring a heavy and destructive fire upon the enemy. His column halted, staggered at so warm a reception, wavered, and then retreated down the road, being signally repulsed by the artillery alone. I directed the pieces to move to the left, keeping up a constant fire so long as he was within range. Two or more guns were moved a mile beyond the original position. Colonel Allen, Second regiment, arriving, I

particularly commend the gallantry of Lieutenant Walker, company E, Forty-fourth Virginia. There may have been others equally worthy of commendation, but I could not fail to notice him. When the brigade halted in the field and sat down, he alone stood erect, went in front and attempted to get the brigade to advance still nearer the enemy." I inclose this report, and recommend the officer to executive favor. Lieutenant-Colonel J. M. Jones, Major James Barbour, Lieutenant T. T. Turner, and Captain Hugh M. Nelson, of my staff, rendered valuable service in rallying the broken troops. Lieutenent G. Campbell Brown was absent, owing to the wound received the day previous. I inclose sub-reports of Colonel Scott and General Tay-directed him to move to the left, (General Talialor; also a detailed list of killed and wounded, ferro's brigade having gone to the bridge,) throwamounting to seventy-eight killed, and five hun- ing out skirmishers, guarding against a flank dred and thirty-five wounded, and four missing; movement by the enemy. The Fourth regiment, in all, six hundred and seventeen killed, wound- Colonel Ronald, was ordered to support this ed, and missing. Respectfully, etc., regiment. The Fifth regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Funk, supported Poague's battery. The Twenty-seventh, Colonel Grigsby, supported Carpenter's battery. The Thirty-third regiment, Colonel Neff, was advanced on the left and held in position to repel a flank movement, and at night picketed near the same point. Some few unimportant changes occurred during the day, but the enemy did not again advance within range of our guns. So heavy and well-directed was our artillery fire, he was obliged to abandon a howitzer and two limbers, which were found in the woods on the following day, being a portion of the battery used against us in the morning. I had observed him trying to remove it, and succeeded beyond my expectation in forcing him to leave it, though I knew he had not taken it off by the road by which it advanced. The brigade moved to camp at dark, just above Port Republic. The total strength of the brigade was one thousand three hundred and thirty-four rank and file in action.



Major R. L. Dabney, A. A. G., Headquarters Valley District.

SIR: I have the honor herewith to report the part taken by this brigade in the operations of the eighth and ninth instant, near Port Republic, Virginia:

Whilst quietly in camp, Sunday morning, the eighth instant, between eight and nine o'clock, I heard artillery to our right and rear, which I inferred must be that of the enemy. Captain Poague came in at this time and informed me he had ordered his battery to be prepared for action. I approved it, and requested him to transmit to Captain Carpenter, camped just by him, instructions to the same effect. The good judgment of both these officers had anticipated such ordersa most fortunate circumstance, indeed, as the enemy were pressing rapidly on our rear.

General Jackson rode to my tent at this time, and ordered me to send a regiment to the bridge over the Shenandoah at Port Republic in doublequick time. I at once sent orders to Colonel J. W. Allen, commanding Second regiment, to conduct his regiment to that point. Mounting my horse, I rode in the direction of the bridge. Passing Poague's battery, I observed a Parrott gun hitched up, and ordered it to follow me. About a quarter of a mile from camp I discovered the position of a battery of the enemy across the river, it sending shell just across the road, but too high to do any damage. The gun arriving, I turned it to the left to bear on the aforesaid battery, when General Jackson directed me to send it to him on the right; this I did, and awaiting the arrival of other guns, which were soon brought up and placed in position on the hill commanding the opposite side of the river. The second shot silenced the enemy's battery, causing it to limber up and move off.

On the morning of the ninth instant, at fortyfive minutes past three o'clock, orders were immediately given, and the head of the brigade reached the point indicated at that hour. I met General Jackson shortly thereafter, who ordered me to move across South River, on a temporary foot-bridge being constructed. I sent Lieutenant Garnett to recall Colonel Neff's regiment from picket, and then moved the brigade as indicated. I was ordered to follow the road down the valley. I placed Colonel Allen in front, throwing forward two companies as an advanced-guard. Having proceeded about a mile, the cavalry in front reported the enemy's pickets. General Jackson being near, I referred the officer to him. I then received orders to drive them, occupy the woods in front, and attack the enemy. I directed Captain Nadenbousch, commanding advance, to deploy skirmishers on either side of the road, and move forward. Captain Carpenter to advance two pieces, take post on left of road, and shell the pickets. These orders were rapidly and well executed. The enemy's pickets disappeared and the skirmishers advanced, the line being

to endeavor to place his section so as to enfilade the enemy.

The Thirty-first regiment Virginia volunteers, Colonel Hoffman, arrived about this time to relieve Colonel Hays, who was ordered to join his brigade. This change it was impossible to effect, and I held Colonel Hoffman in rear of the bat

to waver under the storm of shot, shell, and balls which was being rained upon them. The batteries were moved to the rear, and I tried to rally the men, placing Hoffman's regiment in line on which to rally them. Here I partially succeeded; but the enemy so greatly outnumbed us, and getting within such easy range, thinned our ranks so terribly that it was impossible to rally them for some time, though I was most ably assisted in my endeavors by my staff, the gallant Hays, Grigsby, Funk, Major Williams, Fifth re

supported by Colonel Allen. The enemy here opened a rapid fire of shell, with great accuracy, on the road and vicinity. I was then ordered to send a regiment through the woods to endeavor to turn their battery; also, a battery, to get a position above them. I directed Colonel Allen to move with his regiment, he being in advance, and near the wood, to accomplish this, and Colo-teries for their security, as the infantry line began nel Ronald, Fourth regiment, to support him; Captain Carpenter to take his battery in same direction, to execute the above order. Captain Poague's two Parrott guns I ordered in position on the left of the road, in a wheat-field, and opened on the enemy's battery, the smoke of of which only could be seen; the remaining pieces being under cover. Colonel Grigsby, Twenty-seventh_regiment, I ordered to support this battery. Lieutenant-Colonel Funk, Fifth regiment, was placed on the left, and to the rear of the Twenty-seventh regiment. The Thirty-giment, Captains Nadenbousch, Second, and third regiment, Colonel Neff, to take position on Burke, Fifth regiment. These came particularly the right of the road; but, being detained in under my observation, though doubtless others crossing the river, this order never reached him. did their duty as nobly and bravely. Here one The enemy's fire was so well directed I found it piece of Poague's, I regret to say, fell into the necessary to separate Poague's two guns, placing enemy's hands, I having ordered it to halt and one some distance on the left, and ordering fire on his advancing column, where it was disFunk's regiment to follow the movement ere the abled, as shown in Poague's report. I still enfire was resumed. The enemy soon placed a deavored to rally the remainder of this force, battery of two pieces in front, and in a command- and succeeded in getting the Seventh Louisiana, ing position. I sent Lieutenant Garnett, and under Major Penn, the colonel and lieutenantafterward Captain Poague, to look for a position colonel both being wounded, and Fifth regiment, nearer and more desirable, but none could be under Funk. I placed two pieces of Poague's found unless the enemy were driven off. I then battery in the position previously occupied, and learned his skirmishers were advancing, and or- again opened fire on the enemy, he having haltdered Funk's regiment forward to support the ex-ed in his advance. A sharp fire from the wood treme left of the line, at the same time sending to on our right told that General Taylor's and AlGeneral Jackson for reenforcements, being greatly | len's forces were engaged. I directed the Parrott outnumbered. Colonel H. Hays soon reported gun on the enemy's battery, which was now to me with the Seventh Louisiana regiment. I turned on those forces. I was gratified to learn directed him to take position on the right of from General Taylor that this fire was of service Funk's, and ordered Grigsby's regiment up, to him. The enemy now moved to his left flank, placing it on the right of Hays. This line, under apparently to surround this command in the Hays, I ordered to move forward, drive the ene- woods. Seeing two regiments lying quietly on my from his position and carry his battery at the their arms to the right, under the woods, I despoint of the bayonet. I at the same time direct-patched Lieutenant Garnett to order them fored the remainder of Poague's and a section of Carpenter's battery, the latter having reported it impossible to get through the thick woods or find any position, to be advanced.

ward rapidly to press the enemy's rear. I then moved forward the artillery, with its supports, and obtained a far better position. Captain Chew here reported to me, and did good execuColonel Hays moved his command forward in tion with his battery, displaying great skill and gallant style with a cheer. Seeing his move-accuracy in his fire. I soon met General Jackment, I advanced with the artillery, placing the son and reported my impression to him, and was guns in battery just in rear of Hays's line, which told he had ordered up other troops. LieutenI found had been halted behind a fence. The ant-Colonel Garnett, Forty-eighth regiment, came enemy being in such strong force, and pouring in up, reporting for orders. I directed him to folsuch a heavy fire of artillery and rifles, I then low the road in double-quick, pressing the enemy sent for reënforcements, but received none. The hotly in rear and driving him from his position. men stood it boldly for some time, and fought Major Holliday, Thirty-third regiment, rode up gallantly, many until all their cartridges were at this time, and, through him, I sent orders to gone. Captain Raines reported with two pieces | Colonel Neff to do the same. The batteries arof artillery, one, however, without any cannon-riving, I continued to advance them as rapidly as eers; this piece I sent from the field, the other possible, pouring in a heavy and well-directed being brought into action. I had directed Cap-fire on the retreating columns of the enemy, who tain Poague to move with a Parrott gun to the were now driven from the field, routed at every right, and sent Lieutenant Garnett to Carpenter point. A section of Captain Brockenbrough's

battery joined me just as the retreat commenced, and was ably handled. The roads and woods were shelled, and the enemy scattered in every direction. The pursuit was continued some four miles, when I met General Jackson, who was in advance, and by his orders halted all the artillery, except two pieces of Chew's battery. The enemy being again driven from their ambuscade, I followed with my command to a point some eight or nine miles below Port Republic, when I received orders to return and camp with my wagons, which order was executed-my advance reaching camp, on the summit of the Blue Ridge, at Brown's Gap, at midnight, and the batteries at daylight. It again affords me sincere and great gratification to bear testimony to the courage, gallantry, fortitude, and good conduct of the officers and men under my command, and to them I return my heartfelt thanks. They fought gallantly and desperately, as our holy cause urged them to do, and though temporarily repulsed, it was only from overwhelming numbers. Although exposed to such a withering fire, the killed are few in number, a kind Providence having guarded many from the great dangers to which they were exposed. Colonels Allen and Ronald were so far separated from me, I must refer to their respective reports for the operations of their regiments. To my staff, Captain O'Brien, Lieutenants Howard and Garnett, I tender my sincere thanks for their assistance in transmitting my orders to different points, (though under heavy fire frequently, after the fight became general, ever ready and prompt.) The casualties were: two officers and eleven rank and file killed, six officers and one hundred and fortyeight rank and file wounded, and thirty-two rank and file missing, making a total of one hundred and ninety-nine. The strength of the brigade was one thousand three hundred and thirteen rank and file. For detailed accounts of the affair I respectfully refer to the reports of the several commanders, herewith transmitted.

I am, sir, very respectfully,



ordered to support General Taylor. In a short time after the Fifty-second reached their position on our left flank, General Winder's brigade was driven back, and the Fifty-second, advancing to their support, were also overpowered and driven back, and the enemy advanced. Seeing this, General Ewell ordered my brigade, now consisting of the Forty-fourth and Fifty-eighth, to charge the enemy diagonally across the field. This they did, with loud cheers, which caused the enemy to fall back; but as General Ewell was with the brigade the remainder of the battle, I refer you to his report for an account of its subsequent operations.

In this action, Lieutenant Walker, of company
E, in the Forty-fourth regiment, highly distin-
guished himself for his gallantry. The Fifty-
eighth had four killed and eighteen wounded.
The Forty-fourth had fifteen killed and thirty-
five wounded, nearly one half of those present at
the battle. The Fifty-second had twelve killed
and sixty-five wounded, and seven missing.
Amongst those were Lieutenant G. W. Seaford,
killed, and Captain P. Moore and Lieutenant W.
Ridgeway, wounded, in the Fifty-eighth. Lieu-
tenant William H. Robertson, killed, and Cap-
tain John T. Martin, Captain Thomas R. Buck-
ner, and Captain John S. Anderson, and Lieu-
tenant Omohundro, Lieutenant James H. Hughes,
wounded, in the Forty-fourth. Captain B. T.
Walton, killed, and Lieutenant Lewis Harman,
Lieutenant S. Brown, Lieutenant John Hanna,
and Lieutenant James White, wounded, in the

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commanding Brigade.



To Major R. L. Dabney, A.A. G.:

MAJOR: I have the honor to make a brief report of the operations of my brigade on the eighth and ninth instant.

On the morning of the eighth, my camp, on the north side of the Shenandoah, was disturbed by the sound of artillery, close under the hills

CAMP NEAR MOUNT MERIDIAN, June 14, 1862. below us, and apparently in the town of Port


Republic. I immediately ordered the brigade to be formed, and, as it was about to be formed for MAJOR: In obedience to your order, I beg instruction, the regiments were speedily in line. leave to submit to you the following report of I received orders to move the regiments as they the operations of my brigade in the battle of the were formed to the bridge, which was done. reaching the crest of the hill overlooking the ninth instant near Port Republic. On arriving on the field of battle, the Fifty-town and river, I perceived that a party of the second regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Skin- enemy, consisting of some cavalry and two fieldner, was ordered to take position on the left pieces, had penetrated the town, and that a piece flank, in order to support General Winder's bri- was planted at the mouth of the bridge comgade, then engaged with the enemy. The Forty-manding its entrance, and the whole distance fourth and Fifty-eighth, under my command, were ordered to take position in the woods on the right of the road, and on our right flank in the rear of General Taylor's brigade, which was thrown forward for the purpose of cutting off the most advanced batteries of the enemy. We were

through it. I found Major-General Jackson on the hill, in person, directing the fire of some of our pieces, and he ordered me to charge across the bridge, capture the piece, and occupy the town. We were exposed to considerable fire from the enemy's guns in crossing the hill, and

day. They reached the battle-field only just be
fore the enemy retreated, were under fire for a
very short time, and only had the satisfaction of
securing the fruit of the gallantry of others.
Nevertheless, I trust I shall be pardoned for re-
ferring to the rapidity with which they pressed
forward to the fight, and the zeal and gallantry
manifested by officers and men.
The Thirty-
seventh regiment, Colonel Fulkerson, was in
front, and captured most of the prisoners. Cap-
tain Wood and Lieutenant Duncan, of that regi-
ment, rendered remarkable service, and Sergeant
Samuel L. Gray, company D, Thirty-seventh, ac-
tually captured at one time a Federal captain and
eleven of his men, all armed, and although fired
upon by them, seized the captain's sword and
made the men throw down their arms.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, WILLIAM B. TALIAFERRO,

Brigadier-General Commanding Third Brigade, V. D.

the Thirty-seventh regiment lost three men; but that regiment, Colonel Fulkerson, with the utmost gallantry, after delivering a fire, charged across the bridge, captured the piece, and chased the enemy from the village, killing and capturing several of them. Had I known the topography, we could have captured most of the enemy, but we made at first for the lower ford, which I supposed was the only one leading into the town. Lieutenant Duncan, of the Thirty-seventh, perceiving the enemy crossing at an upper ford, promptly detached a part of the regiment, and fired upon the retreating enemy at that point, but not in time to cut them off. I threw the Tenth, Colonel Warren, into the town, and occupied with that and the Thirty-seventh the fords near the town; placed a battery (Carrington's) on the hill on the west side, which commanded the I am under obligations to the officers of my upper fords, and sent the Twenty-third regiment staff, Captain Pendleton, A. A. G.; Lieutenant to protect the ford near Weyer's Cave. In the Taliaferro, A. D. C., and Major Stanard, Brigade mean time, the enemy's infantry, which had ad- Commissary, for their services and gallant convanced toward the town, was driven back by the duct. Colonel Fulkerson, in the advance, manartillery in great confusion. Captain Wooding's aged his command admirably, and Colonel Warbattery of my brigade did beautiful service from ren, Tenth Virginia, and Lieutenant-Colonel Carits position; the precision and accuracy of its ter, Twenty-third, kept their commands closed fire, and the terrible execution it effected, elicit-up, and all in hand for action. ing the admiration of all who witnessed it. In obedience to the orders of the commanding general, I occupied the town during the night, with part of my command, and was ordered, at dawn of the ninth, to reoccupy the position I had held on the eighth, so as to cooperate with General Trimble and Colonel Patton's brigades, which were to remain on the north side of the river. The other brigades of the army then passed me to attack Shields's troops down the valley. After the fight had lasted some time, I was ordered to On the morning of the eighth, General Elzey move to the scene of action, which was accom-ordered me to take my own (Thirteenth Virgi. plished by my men with wonderful celerity. I nia) and the Twenty-fifth Virginia regiment, Lieucame up with the enemy at Lewis's house, and tenant-Colonel Duffey commanding, and proceed to found them posted in the orchard and under the the right of our lines, to prevent an attempt to turn crest of a hill. General Taylor's Louisiana bri- that flank. We moved by the right flank until I gade occupied the hills on the right of the road, thought we were on the enemy's extreme left, from which, with extraordinary gallantry, they and then sending two companies forward, under had driven the enemy, capturing a full battery. the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Terrill, as At this point I could perceive that the enemy skirmishers, we advanced in line across the clearwere leaving the orchard and slowly retreating ed ground and through the wood beyond, withdown the flat. I hurried up my command as rap-out encountering the enemy. When the skiridly as possible, fired upon the enemy, who, after mishers reached the skirt of the woods near delivering two volleys at us from an entire regiment, became demoralized, broke and fled. We pursued them seven miles with the infantry, and captured between three and four hundred. I do not estimate the number taken by other troops. Captain Wooding's battery had, during this time, been rendering most effective service, and the effect of his shot was remarkable. By direction of Major-General Jackson, two pieces of his battery were pushed forward, and pursued the enemy with the cavalry for many miles beyond the infantry, rendering, under the eye of the commanding general, the most effective service.

In conclusion, I have to state that my brigade had the opportunity to take but little part in the glorious victory achieved by our troops on this

Major James Barbour, A. A. General:
I have the honor to report the movements of
the regiments under my command, on the eighth
and ninth of the present month.

Ever's house, they reported a large body of the enemy close at hand. I halted my command, and, going forward to reconnoitre, found a large force of infantry, probably a brigade, and a battery in a wheat-field, about four hundred yards from our position. Finding myself entirely separated from our troops on the left, and perceiving the enemy were moving a regiment through the woods to our right, I deemed it best to withdraw to the woods and await the coming of other troops. I did so, and encountered General Trimble's brigade advancing on our left. General Trimble informed me that he was going forward to charge the enemy's battery, and directed me to advance on his right. This I did, again sending Colonel Terrill forward with skirmishers. He soon encountered the enemy's skirmishers,

« PreviousContinue »