Page:A memoir of the last year of the War of Independence, in the Confederate States of America.djvu/106

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


102 RETREAT UP THE VALLEY.

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 lo 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 Sher- idan through the New-Market Gap. This cavalry had been detained by Wickham with his and Payne's brigades, at Mill- ford, a sufficient time to enable us to pass New-Market in safe- ty. If, however, it had moved up the Luray Valley by Con- rad's store, we would have been in a critical condition.

On the morning of the 25th, we moved towards Port Repub- lic, which is in the fork of the South Fork and South River, and where the road ihrough 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 Culpepper C. H. We crossed the River below the junction, and took position be- tween Port Republic and Brown's Gap. Fitz Lee's and Lo- max's cavalry joined us here, and on the 26th, Kershaw's di- vision with Cutshaw's battalion of artillery came up, after having crossed Ihrough 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 t\^o efforts to advance towards Brown's Gap, both of which were repulsed after brisk fighting in which artillery was used

Having ascertained that the enemy's infantry had halted at Harrisonburg, on the morning of the 27th I moved out and drove a division of his cavalry from Port Republic, and then encamped in the fork of the rivers. I here learned that two divisions of cavalry under Torbert had been sent through Staunton to Waynesboro, and were engaged in destroying the railroad bridge at the latter place, and the tunnel through the Blue Ridge at Rockfish Gap, and, on the 28th, I moved for

�� �