of the ground were a valley and rivulet in my front, woods on both flanks, and a field of some hundreds of acres, where the road crossed the centre of my line. My side of the valley being more defined and commanding the other. General Trimble's brigade was posted a little in advance of my centre, on the right; General Elzey in rear of the centre, and General Stewart on the left. The artillery was in the centre. Both wings were in woods. The centre was weak, having open ground in front, where the enemy was not expected. General Elzey was in position to strengthen either wing. About ten, the enemy felt along my front with skirmishers, and shortly after posted his artillery, chiefly opposite mine. He advanced, under cover, on General Trimble, with a force, according to his statement, of two brigades, which were repulsed with such signal loss that they did not make another determined effort. General Trimble had been reinforced by the Thirteenth and Twenty-fifth Virginia regiments, Colonel Walker and Lieutenant-Colonel Duffy, of General Elzey's brigade. These regiments assisted in the repulse of the enemy. General Trimble, in turn, advanced and drove the enemy more than a mile, and remained on his flank ready to make the final attack. General Taylor, with the Eighth brigade, composed of Louisiana troops, reported about two P. M., and was placed in the rear. Colonel Patton, with the Forty-second and Forty-eighth regiments, and Irish battalion, Virginia volunteers, also joined, and with the remainder of General Elzey's brigade, was added to the centre and left, then threatened. I did not push my success at once, because I had no cavalry, and it was reported and reaffirmed by Lieutenant Heinrich's topographical engineers, sent to reconnoitre, that the enemy was moving a large column two miles to my left. As soon as I could determine this not to be an attack, I advanced both my wings, drove in the enemy's skirmishers, and when night closed, was in position on the ground previously held by the enemy, ready to attack him at dawn. My troops were recalled to join in the attack on Port Republic. The enemy's attack was decided by four P. M., it being principally directed against General Trimble, and, though from their own statement they outnumbered us on that flank two to one, it had signally failed. General Trimble's command, including the two regiments on his right, under Colonel Walker, is entitled to the highest praise for the gallant manner in which it repulsed the enemy's main attack. His brigade captured one of their colors. As before mentioned, the credit of selecting the position is due to General Elzey. I availed myself frequently during the action of that officer's counsel, profiting largely by his known military skill and judgment. He was much exposed. His horse was wounded early in the action, and at a later period of the day was killed by a rifle-ball, which at the same time inflicted upon the rider a wound that forced him to retire from the field. He was more particularly employed in the centre, directing the artillery. General George H. Stewart was severely wounded, after rendering valuable aid in command of the left. I had Courtnay's, Brockenbrough's, Raines's, and Lusk's batteries. The enemy testified to the efficiency of their fire. Captain Courtnay opened the fight, and was, for hours, exposed to a terrible storm of shot and shell. He and Captain Brockenbrough have been under my observation since the campaign opened, and I can testify to their efficiency on this as on former occasions. The loss in all the batteries shows the warmth of the fire. I was well satisfied with them all. The history of the Maryland regiment, gallantly commanded by Colonel Bradley T. Johnson, during the campaign of the Valley, would be the history of every action from Front Royal to Cross-Keys. On the sixth instant, near Harrisonburgh, the Fifty-eighth Virginia regiment was engaged with the Pennsylvania “Bucktails,” the fighting being close and bloody. Colonel Johnson came up with his regiment in the hottest period of the affair, and, by a dashing charge in flank, drove the enemy off with heavy loss, capturing the Lieutenant-Colonel (Kane) commanding. In commemoration of their gallant conduct, I ordered one of the captured bucktails to be appended as a trophy to their flag. The gallantry of the regiment on this occasion is worthy of acknowledgment from a higher source, more particularly as they avenged the death of the gallant General Ashby, who fell at the same time. Two color-bearers were shot down in succession, but each time the colors were caught before reaching the ground, and were finally borne by Corporal Shanks to the close of the action. On the eighth instant, at Cross-Keys, they were opposed to three of the enemy's regiments in succession. My staff at Cross-Keys consisted of Lieutenant-Colonel J. M. Jones and Major James Barbour, Adjutant-General's Department; Lieutenants G. Campbell Brown, and T. T. Turner, aids; and Captain Hugh M. Nelson, volunteer aid. These officers were much exposed during the day, and were worked hard, over an extensive field. Their services were valuable, and were rendered with zeal and ability. Lieutenant Brown was painfully wounded by a fragment of shell toward the close of the fight. I append a list of casualties, showing forty-two killed, and two hundred and eighty-seven killed, wounded, and missing. I buried my dead and brought off all the wounded, except a few whose mortal agonies would have been uselessly increased by any change of position. Some of the enemy's wounded were brought off and arrangements made for moving them all. when I was ordered to another field. There are good reasons for estimating their loss at not less than two thousand in killed, wounded, and prisoners. On a part of the field they buried one hundred and one at one spot, fifteen at another, and a house containing some of their dead was said to have been burned by them: and this is only a part of what they lost. They were chiefly
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