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[294] command for most of the previous twelve months, will justify me in saying that as a partisan officer, 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.

The main body of my command had now reached the vicinity of Port Republic. The village 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 North-River, 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 cold. 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 Federal 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 Carpenter were being placed in position, and General 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, with which the Federals had advanced, was abandoned, and subsequently fell into our hands.

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, falling back to Lewis's, three miles down the river, pursued for a mile by our batteries on the 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 Fremont, moving on the opposite side of the river. The enemy pushed forward, driving in the Fifteenth 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 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 reached the spot, having, in the mean time, some 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.

General Taylor, of the Eighth brigade of Louisiana troops, having arrived from the vicinity of 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 Forty-eighth 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

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