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Meanwhile, Fremont had marshaled his brigades, and was pressing on in brilliant array to “thunder down” on his adversary's rear. To General Ewell and his division had Jackson assigned the duty of meeting the foe. His other troops were in the rear, and nearer Port Royal, to watch movements there and to assist General Ewell if necessary. Ewell was drawn up on a wooded ridge near Cross Keys, with an open meadow and rivulet in front. On a parallel ridge beyond the rivulet Fremont took position. The latter first moved forward his left, composed of Blenker's Germans, to the attack. They were met by General Trimble, one of Ewell's brigadier's, with three regiments of his brigade. He coolly withheld his fire until the Germans were close upon him. Then a few deadly volleys and the attack is broken, and the Federal left wing bloodily and decisively repulsed. That sturdy old soldier, General Trimble, having been reinforced, presses forward, dislodges the batteries in position in his front, and threatens the overthrow of Fremont's left wing. While this last is not accomplished, the handling Blenker has received is so rough as completely to paralyze the remainder of Fremont's operations. The attack on centre and right become little more than artillery combats, and by the middle of the afternoon Fremont withdraws his whole line. Ewell's force was about six thousand and his loss two hundred and eighty-seven; Fremont's force twice as great and his loss over six hundred and fifty. About the time of Fremont's repulse, General Tyler, with one of Shields' infantry brigades, reached the position near Lewistown, to where Colonel Carroll and his cavalry had retired in the morning. But so strong was the position held by the Confederate batteries on the west bank of the river, that Tyler felt it impossible to make any diversion in favor of Fremont, and with his force of three thousand men remained idle. Jackson, emboldened by the inactivity of Shields' advance, and the easy repulse of Fremont, conceived the audacious design of attacking his two opponents in succession the next day, with the hope of overwhelming them separately. For this purpose he directed that during the night a temporary bridge, composed simply of planks, laid upon the running gear of wagons, should be constructed over the South river, at Port Republic, and ordered Winder to move his brigade at dawn across both rivers and against Shields. Ewell was
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