War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0368 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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In an engagement with the enemy near Port Republic by my advance guard, which took place yesterday morning, our artillery was greatly damaged, and some regiments suffered severely. The conflict was maintained for four hours by about 2,000 men against the main body of Jackson's command. The loss on both sides is very great, but the superior numbers of the enemy were so overwhelming that our advance was compelled to fall back, which it did in perfect order. The retreat was continued until joined by the residue of the command between Conrad's Store and Port Republic, where the enemy at once abandoned the position and fell back. I will send a more detailed report of this engagement as soon as I have time. General Fremont and myself were projecting a combined attack upon the enemy this morning, which in all probability must have destroyed him, when peremptory orders reached me, which I did not feel at liberty to disobey. General Fremont is at Port Republic, on the other side of the river, and will throw a bridge across this morning. We expected to join forces and attack the enemy, but for the peremptory orders to return.

The remark of the general commanding in reference to sending part of the command ahead without support from the residue would be applicable in my case were it not that my command was separated by the torrents that rushed upon us from the mountains, and that I was compelled, in order to subsist them, to keep the greater portion on Luray. I have been utterly unable to bring them together until yesterday. My greatest fault has been that I have not calculated upon the effect of sudden rains in this narrow valley.

I repeat that I must time to refit at Luray before I can go any farther; also to provided for my sick, who are there, and must be remove.

Very, &c.,

JAS. SHIELDS,

Major-General.

The above is a sorry picture of Shields' division, but I do not think it overdrawn. This town is filled with so-called sick officers and men, who, it is said, will never be of use again. In any calculations you may take as to numbers to not rely on more that half what the returns call for. I do not think any of our army will be fit to take the field, unless King's division, in less than fortnight. Horses are used up as well as the men. The want of discipline and ignorance of the plainest duties are distressing. There in nothing but confusion and plainest duties are distressing. The is nothing but confusion and disorder. The frequent changes contribute much to this state of things.

7.30 p. m.-I have just received your telegram for General Shields.

ED. SCHRIVER,

Colonel and Chief of Staff.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,

June 10, 1862-3.40 p. m.

Major-General BANKS,

Commanding Dept. of the Shenandoah, Winchester (via Front Royal):

As my movements depend on those of your forces, I beg leave to inquire when will you be able to occupy Luray and take charge of the Front Royal and Luray line, that I may resume the operations with which I am changed?

Supplies can be had at Front Royal.

Very respectfully,

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Major-General, Commanding Department.

CAMP OF THE SECOND VIRGINIA CAVALRY,

Meadow Bluff, Va., June 10, 1862.

Colonel GEORGE CROOK, Commanding Third Brigade:

SIR: I have the honor to transmit the following report:

On the morning of the 9th instant, with 33 men of Company C and 20 men of Company F, Second Virginia Cavalry, I started for Lewis-