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 which made him the pride of the army, and the special idol of the Valley of Virginia, and he fell with a reputation scarcely equalled by any of our cavaliers. His splendid white horse, his raven locks, his chivalric bearing, his tender sympathies, stainless character, and heroic deeds will live in the songs and traditions of that region as long as those blue mountains shall sentinel the scenes of his exploits, or the beautiful Shenandoah flows along its emerald bed. His most fitting eulogy, however, was the following brief tribute in General Jackson's report: “An official report is not an appropriate place for more than a passing notice of the distinguished dead, but the close relation which General Ashby bore to my 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 gallant Marylanders, under Colonel B. T. Johnson, aided by the Fifty-eighth Virginia, had a bloody revenge on the “Bucktails” and drove them from the field, capturing their Colonel (Kane) and inflicting heavy loss. Yet, as this was not Jackson's chosen field of battle, he continued his retreat to “Cross Keys,” where Ewell was ordered to check Fremont, while with the rest of his force Jackson advanced to pay his respects to General Shields, who was hurrying up on the east side of the river, having been prevented from crossing over at any point below by the burning of the bridges and the swollen condition of the river. On the morning of the 8th of June Jackson had his headquarters in the little village of Port Republic (located in the forks of the Shenandoah) while most of his command were on the west side of the river. He had a strong cavalry picket down the river to watch Shields, but the Federal advance made a gallant dash on these which drove them back in great confusion, and followed them so closely as to get possession of the bridge and place a piece of artillery in position to sweep it. Jackson then found himself suddenly in the critical situation of being cut off from his army, with Shields holding the bridge by which, in case of disaster, they should retreat. He did not hesitate to adopt the boldest course. Riding up to the officer in charge of the piece of artillery, he sternly called out, “Who ordered you to post that gun there, sir? Bring it over here!” The officer mistook him for a Federal general and was preparing to obey the order when Jackson galloped across the bridge and was soon leading in person one of his
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