Report of Maj. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, C. S. Army, commanding Third Division, of the Battle of Port Republic
HDQRS. THIRD DIV., DEPT. OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
Maj. R. L. DABNEY,
MAJOR: I have the honor to report the movements of my division in the battle near Port Republic on June 9:
When I received the order to march to Port Republic, to join in the attack on the forces under General Shields, my command included, in addition to my own division, the Second Brigade of the Army of the Valley District. This brigade, under the command of Col. J. M. Patton, had been attached to my command during the engagement of the day before. My command had been engaged with General Fremont throughout the day on June 8, and slept upon their arms. The brigades commanded by General Trimble and Colonel Patton (except one regiment) and the Seventh Louisiana Regiment, Colonel Hays, had before night closed in been advanced within range of the enemy's musketry.
Day was breaking on the morning of June 9 before these troops commenced their march from this position to the other field at Port Republic, 7 miles distant, some of them without food for twenty-four hours.
The commands of General Trimble and Colonel Pattern were kept in position to hold the enemy under Fremont in check, and keep him from advancing upon Port Republic or taking any part in the engagement on that day. The difficulty in effecting the crossing of the South Branch of the river at Port Republic occasioned a delay, which separated the forces in my command. When I reached the field the Eighth Louisiana Brigade, commanded by General Taylor, had been sent by Major-General Jackson, under cover of the woods, to attack the enemy in flank and rear. One of the regiments of the Second Brigade of my division was detached to the left, and I placed the Fifty-eighth, Colonel Letcher, and the Forty-fourth Virginia, Colonel Scott, under cover of the woods, with the flank toward the enemy. When, after a severe struggle, from the advantage of position and numbers, the enemy were driving back our forces on the left and the flank of the advancing enemy (at least two brigades) came in front, an advance was ordered. The two regiments, bravely led by Colonel Scott, rushed with a shout upon the enemy, taking him in flank. For the first time that day the enemy was then driven back in disorder for some hundreds of yards. At the same instant, while our artillery was retiring rapidly from the field, one piece was halted and opened fire upon the enemy, showing great quickness and decision in the officer commanding it. These efforts checked the enemy so long that, although Colonel Scott's command was driven back to the woods with severe loss, there was time to rally and lead them to the assistance of the Eighth Brigade, General R. Taylor commanding, which was heard engaging the enemy far to their rear. The remnants of the two regiments reached General Taylor at the moment when, as shown in his report, fresh troops of the enemy had driven him from the battery he had captured. His brigade formed and advanced with these two regiments, and the enemy fled a second time from the battery and the field after exchanging a few shots.
The credit of first checking the enemy and then assisting in his final repulse and of the capture of the battery is due to these two regiments. It would be difficult to find another instance of volunteer troops after a severe cheek rallying and again attacking the enemy. To General Taylor and his brigade belongs the honor of deciding two battles-- that of Winchester and this one. As soon as his fire was heard in rear and flank the whole force of the enemy turned to meet this new foe.
Colonel Walker, commanding Fourth Brigade, ordered by the major-general commanding to follow the Eighth Brigade, was lost in the mountains, reported to me, and joined in the pursuit.
General Trimble, commanding Seventh Brigade, with part of Colonel Patton's command, was left to hold Fremont in check. The Fifty-second Virginia Regiment was detailed, and fought on the left flank with General Winder.
Colonel Scott reports:
I particularly commend the gallantry of Lieutenant Walker, Company E, Forty-fourth Virginia. There may have been others equally worthy of commendation, but I could not fail to notice him. When the brigade halted in the field and sat down he alone stood erect, went in front, and attempted to get the brigade to advance still nearer the enemy.
I indorse this report and recommend the officer to executive favor. Lieut. Col. J. M. Jones, Maj. James Barbour, Lieut. T. T. Turner, and Capt. Hugh M. Nelson, of my staff, rendered invaluable service in rallying the broken troops. Lieut. G. Campbell Brown was absent, owing to the wound received the day previous.
I enclose sub-reports of Colonel Scott and General Taylor; also a detailed list of killed and wounded, amounting to 78 killed and 533 wounded and 4 missing; in all, 615 killed, wounded, and missing.