of the river, that Tyler
felt it impossible to make any diversion in favor of Fremont
, and with his force of 3,000 men remained idle.1
, 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.2
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
was directed to leave Trimble
's brigade and part of Patton
's to hold Fremont
in check, and to move at an early hour to Port Republic
, to follow Winder
's brigade was left in charge of the batteries along the river, and to protect Trimble
's retreat, if necessary.
The force left in Fremont
's front was directed to make all the show possible, and to delay the Federal
advance to the extent of its power.
The Confederate commander proposed, in case of an easy victory over Shields
in the morning, to return to the Harrisonburg
side of the river and attack Fremont
in the afternoon.
In case however of delay, and a vigorous advance on Fremont
's part, Trimble
was to retire by the bridge into Port Republic
and burn it, in order to prevent his antagonist from following.
urged forward in person the construction of the foot bridge and the slow passage of his troops over the imperfect structure.
's and Taylor
's brigades had crossed, he would wait no longer, but moved forward towards the enemy; and when he found him ordered Winder
The Federal General Tyler
had posted his force strongly on a line perpendicular to the river — his left especially in a commanding position, and protected by dense woods.
attacked with vigor, but soon found the Federal
position too strong to be carried by his brigade of 1,200 men. Taylor
went to his assistance, but met with a stubborn resistance and varying success.
was forced back until other troops came up, and enabled him once more to go forward.
, finding the resistance of the enemy so much more stubborn than he had expected, and that his first attack and failed, determined to concentrate his whole force, and give up all intention of recrossing the river.
He therefore sent orders to Trimble
to leave Fremont
's front, move over the bridge, burn it, and join the main body of the army as speedily as possible.