General Banks at Harrisonburg was in the midst of a hostile country, and already one hundred miles from the Potomac at Harper's Ferry, with which a long line of wagon communication had to be maintained.
To push on to Staunton, with Jackson on his flank and rear, was virtually to sacrifice his present line of communication, with no practicable substitute in view; to attack the Confederates on the slopes of the mountains, with even a greatly superior force, was to risk defeat.
On the 28th of April Jackson applied to General Lee, then acting as Commander-in-Chief under President Davis, for a reinforcement of five thousand men, which addition to his force he deemed necessary to justify him in marching out and attacking Banks.
Next day he was informed that no troops could be spared to him beyond the commands of Ewell and of Edward Johnson, the latter of whom was seven miles west of Staunton, at West View, with a brigade.
Jackson at once decided upon his plan of campaign, and t