War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0685 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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horses were killed. I reached them in time to cover the retreat with the residue of the command, and took up a strong and defensible position between Conrad's Store and Port Republic, which Jackson feared to attack, falling back at once.

On the evening of the 9th I was concerting a combined attack on Jackson next morning with General Fremont, with whom I kept up constant communication by means of a ferry which we had previously established, when I received a positive and peremptory order to return to Luray. There was no option left me. I never obeyed an order with such reluctance, but I had to return.

Jackson, with that sagacity which characterizes his course, burned the bridge between himself and Fremont after having crossed the river to our side, but General Fremont, whose conduct throughout cannot be too highly praised, had a pontoon bridge to throw across next morning to attack Jackson's flank, while I with my whole command should attack him in front. The result could not have been doubtful. Thus lay a kind of fatality. This man, who dared to insult our capital, whom 2,500 of this division fought for four hours, who fell back in haste before my whole division, not deeming himself safe until he put 5 miles between us, is left to escape. The first fatality was in not burning the bridge on Sunday morning. Colonel Carroll, in whom I placed implicit confidence, was hurried on by an excess of daring to neglect this important duty in his pursuit of the enemy. The second was in attempting to maintain an indefensible position in the face of such tremendous odds. Brigadier-General Tyler, in command of the advance, must have had unbounded confidence to have hazarded this. The third was in recalling my command peremptorily to Luray when General Fremont and myself had the enemy still in our grasp.

The plan for Jackson's destruction was perfect. The execution of it, from inexplicable causes, was not what was to be expected, but the hardihood and indomitable courage of my brave but misguided advance in giving battle to the whole of Jackson's army, in repulsing him for four hours, in destroying numbers of the enemy, which he himself admits was much heavier than in the battle of the previous day with the whole of Fremont's force, and then in carrying everything off the field but the unhorsed guns, is an exhibition of fearless confidence and courage that must extort admiration even from the enemy. This division has not been defeated. The advance, instead of falling back upon the main body as it should have gone, gave battle and was repulsed, after killing, as the citizens report, 1,000 of the enemy. Few prisoners were taken on either side.

This is in brief the history of the affair of the 9th, which will be given in detail in the reports now in course of preparation. I beg that this may be forwarded to the War Department, to relieve the President and Secretary from their natural solicitude on our account.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. SHIELDS,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Colonel SCHRIVER,

Chief of Staff, Dept. of the Rappahannock, Manassas Junction.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, DEPT. OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report, now that I have found time to do so, that on the 1st instant it became apparent at Front Royal to the