are of this, called a council of his chief officers — the first and last time, it is believed, that he ever summoned a council of war--to meet after dark in Winchester, and proposed to them a night attack upon Banks.
His proposition was not approved, and he learned then for the first time that the troops were already six miles from Winchester and ten from the enemy.
The plan was now evidently impracticable, and he withdrew from the town, which was occupied by the Federals on the next day, March 12.
The Confederates continued to retreat slowly to Woodstock and Mount Jackson, forty miles in rear of Winchester, and Shields' division was thrown forward in pursuit to Strasburg on the 17th.
The retirement of Jackson, and the unopposed occupation of the lower Valley by Banks, relieved General McClellan of all fears in that direction, and induced him, in pursuance of President Lincoln's requirement that Manassas Junction and the approaches to, Washington from that direction be securely h