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Cross Keys

left, ewells, fremont and brigade

CROSS KEYS, Battle of. On the morning of 8 June 1862 General Fremont, with 10,500 men and 44 guns marched from Harrisonburg, Va., following Gen: •Stonewall* Jackson who had been pursued up the Shenandoah Valley, and who had now fallen back in the di rection of Port Republic. Fremont's cavalry drove in Jackson's, and when eight miles be yond Harrisonburg Cluseret's brigade„ in ad vance, came upon General Ewell's division of about 5,000 men and 16 guns, at Cross Keys, and Fremont formed for attack. Cluseret's brigade, with artillery, was on and near the road; Stahel's and Bohlen's were sent on the left; Milroy's and Schenck's on the right. Eight batteries were put on the line and opened a spirited fire. Stahel was now ordered to at tack Ewell's right and, going forward, met with some but when his two left regiments were ascending a gentle slope and had ap proached within a few feet of its summit, Ewell's men opened with an unexpected and severe fire, and the regiments were repulsed with great loss. Part of Ewell's line pursued, but was checked and driven back by Stahel's right regiment, which was concealed in the woods. Bohlen's brigade was now ordered forward, but under conflicting orders it was misdirected, and for the most part remained as support to the batteries. Re-enforcing his own right, Ewell

advanced beyond Fremont's left, got an enfilad ing fire on his batteries, which, not properly supported, were withdrawn, the infantry fol lowing a full mile. Meanwhile on the right Milroy and Schenck had made some progress, and were preparing to make a determined attack on Ewell's left, when Fremont ordered them to fall back and re-enforce his left, but by this time his left had been forced back, and the entire line fell back at 6 P.M. to organize for a renewal of the battle in the morning. During the night and early in the morning Ewell with drew, under Jackson's order, to join in an at tack on General Shields, who was nearing Port Republic by way of Luray. Valley. Fremont fol lowed Ewell to the south fork of the Shenan doah, to find that he had burned the bridge behind him and joined Jackson. He was an idle spectator of the battle of Port Republic, 9 June, in which his comrades were defeated, and the day following he returned to 'Harri sonburg. The Union loss at Cross Keys was 558 killed and wounded and 127 missing. • The Con federate loss was 273 killed and wounded and 15 missing. Consult 'Official Record> (Vol. XII).