War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0691 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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Numbers 54. Report of Colonel Philip Daum, Chief of Artillery, of engagement at Port Republic.


SIR: I have the honor to submit to you the following report of the actions which took place on the 8th and 9th of June last, near Port Republic, Va.:

I reached Sunday last, June 8, early in the morning, a point 1 mile north of Port Republic, where I found the forces under Colonel Carroll in full retreat from a bridge spanning at that place the Shenandoah. I learned from Colonel Carroll that Captain Robinson, Ohio artillery, with one section, was ordered to take position near that bridge. I immediately started toward the same to recall it, but found bridge as well as guns in possession of the enemy. On my return I found one piece of the same battery abandoned in the field, with only two horses and one driver attached to it, the sergeant being killed and the lieutenant commanding missing. I found Captain Keily, aide-de-camp, making great efforts to rescue the piece. It was impossible to accomplish this, as it was sunk in the swamp. I went to the next infantry regiment, which I found about one-half mile to the rear, and succeeded in procuring the assistance of eight volunteers of the Seventh Indiana Regiment (the names of whom I respectfully attach). With these brave fellows and the help of Captain Keily I was lucky enough to bring the piece to the road, and this under the concentrated fire of eighteen of the enemy's guns. Pursuing the road in retreat with the thus secured gun, I found in the same another piece of the same battery also abandoned, the pole being broken. This piece belonged to the reserve and had not been in action. Officers and men, panic-stricken, had taken off the horses and fled. I mended the pole and had the piece brought to the rear by infantry. Officers, cannoneers, and horses could not be found for four hours afterward.

We now were out of the enemy's range, and took position at a point commanding the road and ground before us, so as to enable the infantry to rally here. I brought two guns from Clark's battery and one howitzer of Robinson's in position. This was at noon. The enemy moved now their baggage train toward the bridge, en route to Gordonsville, and a heavy fire was heard to our right and rear across the Shenandoah, which we supposed to be the forces of General Fremont engaged with those of General Jackson. At 2 o'clock General Tyler arrived with the Third Brigade, and I had now the artillery attached to the Third and Fourth Brigades and the reserve, consisting in all of sixteen pieces, under my command. I ordered a 12-pounder howitzer and a 6-pounder smooth-bore to the rear, to guard a ford. I proposed to General Tyler and General Carroll to attempt the destruction of the bridge at all hazards. Jackson's force being then in an engagement with General Fremont, the infantry should move to the woods unobserved by the enemy, the artillery and cavalry to move rapidly along the road after the infantry had started, but the plan was abandoned by order of General Tyler.

Evening now set in, and the troops went into bivouac. By daylight of Monday morning, June 9, everything was apparently quiet, and a heavy fog rested over the ground. At 5.45 the fog had partly disappeared. The enemy opened fire upon us from a battery near the road,