By Austin Williams, 5th Virginia
At 3:45 on the morning of 9 June 1862, the 27th Virginia Volunteer Infantry slowly crossed a makeshift footbridge over the South Branch of the Shenandoah and marched through the quiet village of Port Republic. Under the command of Colonel Andrew J. Grigsby, the 27th formed part of the Stonewall Brigade then commanded General Charles S. Winder. Having defeated one Federal force the previous day at Cross Keys, General Thomas J. Jackson was impatient to engage Federal forces under General James Shields and directed Winder to begin the attack without waiting for reinforcements. With the 33rd Virginia detached for picket duty the previous night, Winder ordered the 5th and 27th Virginia to advance across an open wheat field, nearly a mile and a half long, flanked by the river to the left and ending in a low wooded ridge where Indiana and Ohio regiments waited. The undersized 27th, which numbered only 150 men at the time of the battle, advanced to the right of the 5th Virginia.
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