War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0757 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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several reports of artillery in the direction of Port Republic. I immediately gave orders to pack the wagons and get under arms, anticipating an order to that effect in a few moments from headquarters, in which I was not mistaken; the regiment was soon under arms and in a few moments was put in motion, marching in the direction of Port Republic, my regiment in rear of the brigade. As we moved on the cannonading became quite warm, and on a nearer approach I found two or perhaps portions of three batteries actively engage, firing from a commanding position on the west side of the river upon the enemy's infantry, several regiments of which were in a flat bottom on the east bank of the river. Halting for a moment near a battery on the left of the road I went forward for instructions, and meeting Captain O'Brien, was ordered to follow the Fourth Regiment, then marching to the left. We marched on for perhaps a mile or more, taking various positions and changing them every few moments until, entering a body of woods, the Fourth formed in line of battle, throwing skirmishers in front and left flank, it moved on down the McGaheysville road. I followed with my regiment in line and about 100 paces in rear. The Fourth Regiment halted after proceeding about a quarter of a mile, and remained

in that position during the remainder of the day, my regiment about 100 paces in rear. Here we were idle all day, no enemy making its appearance in that quarter.

At dark we were withdrawn from our position and ordered to encamp on the opposite side of the river. My regiment had just crossed the river when I was ordered back to near the same position for picket duty, and marched back accordingly.

Some time after sunrise on the morning of the 9th I was directed by Lieutenant Garnett to draw in my pickets and join my brigade at once. On inquiring where the brigade was, he replied that he was not sure whether it was on the Brown's Gap road or whether it would go down the river. I had scarcely collected my regiment and started for the bridge when our artillery opened upon the enemy's camp. I pushed on, but before I got to the bridge I found the way blocked by wagons, ambulances, artillery, and infantry; it was with great difficulty and considerable loss of time that I at last got my regiment across the main bridge, and encountered almost every obstacle in crossing the temporary one across the smaller stream. I was without any definite knowledge as to the whereabouts of the brigade, but took it for granted it was somewhere on the battle-field, and I moved on in the direction of regiments which had crossed before me. Marching along the road I was considerably annoyed by the enemy's shells, which were bursting in and over the road almost constantly. I got under shelter of a small skirt of wood near the road and pushed on under this cover for some distance, when I came up to an ambulance which the driver told me belonged to the Second Virginia Infantry, and from him I learned that the Second Regiment had gone up the some road upon which I was then moving. I continued to march in that direction, expecting to meet with General Winder or some of his aides. At all events I was getting nearer the scene of conflict, where I expected to be of some service. I had gone, as I supposed, half mile farther, when I met several members of the Fourth Virginia, who told me the regiments were falling back, and their regiment was ordered back to support Carpenter's battery. I was now in the woods; there was sharp firing in front of me; I was totally ignorant of our position or that of the enemy, and scarcely knew what to do. I accordingly halted the regiment and rode forward to ascertain, if possible, something of the condition of affairs. I had proceeded but a short distance when I met Elzey's brigade coming