Friday, June 8, 2012

Port Republic Raid

Ashby's Death Site - Port Republic
Port Republic House. Photo via CWT
As Jackson's army arrived in the Port Republic area, he divided to face both armies. Dick Ewell and his division were placed at Cross Keys facing Fremont, while Jackson's division in Port Republic faced Shield's force. On the morning of June 8th, 150 years ago today, a very embarrassing event occurred for the Confederates. The Southern cavalry under Ashby's leadership was not a model of discipline, and with his death they fell apart. This allowed a Union raiding party to penetrate the Confederate lines. They were nearly upon the Confederate headquarters before they were discovered, and Jackson and his staff had to leap to their horses in order to avoid being captured. Although Jackson escaped safely, several of his staff were in fact captured, although they were later able to make their escape. The raid was soon turned back with a last ditch defense by the small Confederate force and the arrival of troops from Jackson's main body, who were able to cross the river and brush away the Union forces. This was one of Jackson's closest shaves of the war.


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