Page:A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the Confederate States of America.djvu/100

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96
RETREAT UP THE VALLEY.

set, I determined to resist any further advance, so as to enable, my trains to get on the Port Republic road; and skirmishers were sent out and artillery opened on the advancing enemy, but, after some skirmishing, lie went into camp in our view, and beyond the reach of our guns. At this point, a gallant officer of artillery, Captain Massie, was killed by a shell. As soon as it was dark, we retired live miles on the Port Republic road and bivouacked. In the morning Lomax's cavalry had been posted to our left, on the Middle and Back roads from Mount Jackson to Harrisburg, but it was forced back by a superior force of the enemy's cavalry, and retired to the latter place in considerable disorder. Wickham's brigade had been sent for from the Luray Valley to join me, through the New-Market Gap, but it arrived at that gap just as we were retiring through New-Market, and orders were sent for it to return to the Luray Valley and join me at Port Republic. In the meantime, Payne's small brigade had been driven from Millford by two divisions of cavalry under Torbert, which had moved up the Luray Valley and subsequently joined Sheridan through the New-Market Gap. This cavalry had been detained by Wickham with his and Payne's brigades, at Millford, a sufficient time to enable us to pass New-Market in safety. If, however it had moved up the Luray Valley by Conrad's store, we would have been in a critical condition.

On the morning of the 25th, we moved towards Port Republic, which is in the fork of the South Fork and South River, and where the road through Brown's Gap in the Blue Ridge crosses those rivers, in order to unite with Kershaw's division., which had been ordered to join me from Culpeper C. H. We crossed thee river below the junction, and took position between Port Republic and Brown's Gap. Fitz Lee's and Lomax's cavalry joined us here, and on the 26th, Kershaw's division with Cutshaw's battalion of artillery came up, after having crossed through Swift Run Gap, and encountered and repulsed, below Port Republic, a body of the enemy's cavalry. There was likewise heavy skirmishing on my front on the 26th with the enemy's cavalry, which made two efforts to advance towards Brown's Gap, both of which were repulsed after brisk fighting in which artillery was used.