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[139] 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.1

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.,2 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,3 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

1 June 8.

2 June 9.

3 Jackson's official report says; “Three times was this battery lost and won, in the desperate and determined efforts to capture and recover it.”

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