In early June, 1862, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, pursued by two separate Union columns, retreated up the Shenandoah Valley toward the important river crossing at Port Republic. On the morning of June 8, the division of Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont bore down on the Confederates under Maj. Gen. Richard S. Ewell near Cross Keys outside of Harrisonburg. Deploying his infantry east and west of the Port Republic Road, Frémont moved south. A feeble advance from the Union left was beaten back with heavy losses. Ewell held the high ground south of Mill Creek and resisted all of Fremont’s additional attacks. With Fremont defeated, Ewell moved to assist Jackson with the defeat of another Union force at Port Republic the next day. Rebel victories over two days weakened pursuing Union troops and enabled Jackson to support Gen. Robert E. Lee outside of Richmond.