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[147] Thus 8,000 men were, in effect, destroyed for the enemy in a two hours fight. The battle was one of the most brilliant and decisive of the war.

We were not in it, by accident. Our wagons had not reached us, we had not our cartridge boxes filled, had had nothing to eat since the day before Cross Keys. The Colonel, finding that our rations were half a mile south of Port Republic, obtained Generl Ewell's permission to go there, fill his boxes, feed his men, and come on. He thus lost an hour, and consequently only got up as the last charge was made, but really had no participation in the battle.

While we were burying our dead, and before we had time to attend to the enemy's wounded, Fremont appeared on the opposite side, within easy range for artillery, and went into position. Jackson marched up a mountain road, concealing his troops, to Brown's Gap, while we were left as rear guard and picket to hold Fremont back at the fords. While doing this, and attending to some wounded men, both of the enemy's and ours, a battery from the other side opened sharply, and we therefore having obeyed orders, about dusk fell back by the route pursued by the army.

After a march unequalled by its annoyances, we reached the top of the mountain near daylight, and during the day camped at its eastern declivity. In a day or two we removed to the vicinity of Weyer's Cave, and while here, Col. Johnson procured permission from Gen'l Jackson to proceed to Staunton, to re-organize and recruit. The discontent which had displayed itself the day of Front Royal, had been allayed by his promise to lay the matter before the Secretary of War, and he now sought an opportunity to do so. Companies I and H were about being mustered out, their terms expiring in a few days, and he hoped if he had a place to which men could be sent to join him, he might fill up the regiment again. The reputation it had acquired during the campaign, he hoped would conduce greatly to this result. We left the army with the kindest wishes of every one, and with strong hope that thirty days rest would give us five hundred men. General Ewell's mention of the regiment shows his appreciation of it. In his report of the battle of Cross Keys he says:

The history of the 1st Maryland regiment, is the history of the campaign of the Valley, &c., &c.

“ 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 16 inst., near Harrisonburg, the 58th Virginia was engaged with the ”

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