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[744]

On Friday the footsore and weary Confederates went into camp at different points along the five miles of road that intervened between Port Royal and Cross Keys, the latter a point half way between the former village and Martinsburg. The skirmish on that day, in which Fremont's cavalry was severely punished, is memorable because in it fell Turner Ashby, the generous, the chivalric, the high-toned knight-who, as commander of his horse, had so faithfully and gloriously contributed to Jackson's achievements. The next day was given to rest, and sorrow for the loss of Ashby replaced all other feelings for the time. But brief the time for sorrow. War gives much space to the grand emotions that lead to heroic doing or heroic bearing, but is niggardly in its allowance to the softer feelings of sadness and grief. As Ashby is borne away to his burial, all thoughts turn (once more) to the impending strife. Fremont was advancing. He had been emboldened by the retreat of the Confederates, and failing to comprehend the object of Jackson's movements, pushed on to seize the prey which he deemed to be now within his grasp. His troops were all up by Saturday night, and his dispositions were made for attack on Sunday morning, June 8th. But, though Fremont was thus close at hand, while Shields, detained by bad roads with his main body, was yet twelve or fifteen miles off on the east side of the river, yet the opening of the battle on Sunday, June 8th, was made by a dash of Shields' cavalry, under Colonel Carroll, into Port Republic. They had been sent on a day's march in advance, and meeting but a small force of Confederate cavalry, had driven them pell-mell into Port Republic, dashed across South river after them, seized and, for a few minutes, held the bridge over the larger stream. Jackson had just passed through the village as they entered it. Riding rapidly to the nearest infantry regiment north of the bridge, he put himself at the head of it, quickly retook the bridge, captured two cannon, and drove these adventurous horsemen back. They retired two or three miles with their infantry supports, and, as the bluffs on the west side of the river commanded the roads along the east side, a battery or two kept them inactive for the remainder of the day. It was at this time that Shields, from Luray, was dispatching Fremont as follows:

June 8th-9.30 A. M.
I write by your scout. I think by this time there will be twelve pieces of artillery opposite Jackson's train at Port Republic, if he has taken that route. Some cavalry and artillery have pushed on to Waynesboro to burn the bridge: I hope to have two brigades at Port Republic to-day. I follow myself with two other brigades from this place. If the enemy changes direction you will please keep me advised. If he attempts to force a passage, as my force is not large there yet, I hope you will


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