large column 2 miles to my left. As soon as I could determine this not to be an attack I advanced both my wings, drove in the enemy's skirmishers, and when night closed was in position on the ground previously held by the enemy, ready to attack him at dawn.
My troops were recalled to join in the attack at Port Republic. The enemy's attack was decided by 4 p. m., it being principally directed against General Trimble, and, though from their own statement they outnumbered us on that flank two to one, it had signally failed. General Trimble's command, including the two regiments on his right, under Colonel Walker, is entitled to the highest praise for the gallant manner in which it repulsed the enemy's main attack. His brigade captured one of their colors.
As before mentioned, the credit of selecting the position is due to General Elzey. I availed myself frequently during the action of that officer's counsel, profiting largely by his known military skill and judgment. He was much exposed. His horse was wounded early in the action, and at a later period of the day was killed by a rifle-ball, which, at the same time, inflicted upon the rider a wound that forced him to retire from the field. He was more particularly employed in the center, directing the artillery. General George H. Steuart was severely wounded, after rendering valuable aid in command of the left.
I had Courtney's, Brockenbrough's, Raine's, and Lusk's batteries. The enemy testifies to the efficiency of their fire. Captain Courtney opened the fight, and was for hours exposed to a terrible storm of shot and shell. He and Captain Brockenbrough have been under my observation since the campaign opened, and I can testify to their efficiency on this as on former occasions. The loss in all the batteries shows the warmth of the fire. I was well satisfied with them all.
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 6th instant, near Harrisonburg, the Fifty-eighth Virginia Regiment was engaged with the Pennsylvania Bucktails, the fighting being close and bloody. Colonel Johnson came up with his regiment in the hottest period of the affair, and by a dashing charge in flank drove the enemy off with heavy loss, capturing the lieutenant-colonel (Kane) commanding. In commemoration of their gallant conduct I ordered one of the captured bucktails to be appended as a trophy to their flag.
The gallantry of the regiment on this occasion is worthy of acknowledgment from a higher source, more particularly as they avenged the death of the gallant General Ashby, who fell at the same time. Two color-bearers were shot down in succession, but each time the colors were caught before reaching the ground, and were finally borne by Corporal Shanks to the close of the action.
On the 8th instant, at Cross Keys, they were opposed to three of the enemy's regiment in succession.
My staff at Cross Keys consisted of Lieutenant Colonel J. M. Jones and Major James Barbour, Adjutant-General's Department; Lieuts. G. Campbell Brown and T. T. Turner, aides, and Captain Hugh M. Nelson, volunteer aide. These officers were much exposed during the day, and were worked hard over an extensive field. Their services were valuable, and were rendered with zeal and ability. Lieutenant Brown was painfully wounded by a fragment of shell toward the close of the fight.
I append a list of casualties, showing 42 killed, and 287 killed, wounded, and missing.* I buried by dead and brought off all the
*List shows 41 killed and 288 total.