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re you now see the moon rising, and those flickering lights, that is the Gap, through which the railroad runs from here to Strasburgh. From the latter place to Winchester, twelve miles, there is a break in the track. From Winchester, however, the road runs to Harper's Ferry, and there joins the Washington and Baltimore roads to Winchester, however, the road runs to Harper's Ferry, and there joins the Washington and Baltimore roads to the east, and with the Western Virginia and Ohio Railroads to the west. General Joe Johnston is at the Ferry with a small force guarding the passage; for if General Patterson and his forty thousand men pour across from Maryland and Pennsylvania into the Shenandoah Valley, they can march on this place by the flank, while Scott movnishment with the few troops under his command; Colonel Jackson, therefore, retreated slowly and orderly towards Charlestown, (midway between Harper's Ferry and Winchester,) whither Johnston's main force had retired. While Johnston's and Patterson's forces were thus facing each other near Charlestown things were unchanged at Mana
. Expecting the attack to be resumed with great fury on the morrow, every preparation was made for it, strong picket guards being posted in all directions. It was while I was out on this duty, far away to the front, that news was brought of Patterson's retreat from the Shenandoah Valley into Maryland, his object being to effect a junction with the forces of General Scott around Washington in time for the great struggle. At the same time, telegrams informed us of Johnston's retreat to Winchester and Strasburgh; and he himself had arrived at Manassas on Friday night, (the nineteenth,) while Jackson, with one or two brigades, was on his way by railroad. The rest of Johnston's army, it was expected, would reach us before Sunday, and participate in the general engagement. This was excellent news, and Johnston's manoeuvres raised him high in the opinion of the men. During the night we picked up several stragglers from Scott's army, and learned from them that McDowell was in chief
e at all hazards ; and such instructions to a fighting general were likely to be fulfilled to the letter. The possession of Leesburgh was, in truth, of paramount importance to us. It was populous and wealthy, and, withal, situated in a county more fruitful in supplies than any other in the State. The people of Leesburgh had been somewhat disaffected to our cause, but that had all passed, and now none were more enthusiastic for independence. The rail and other roads from Washington to Winchester ran through the town, and should it. fall, a large area of fruitful country, with the accumulated crops, both in Loudon and the Shenandoah Valley, would fall into Northern hands — a consummation devoutly wished by the Federals, as Maryland was incapable of supplying their wants. They had, moreover, to pay for what they got from their friends ; whereas by being quartered-among the rebels, that inconvenience would be spared them, and a vast expense saved. Our service under these circum
force, retired without firing a shot. While bivouacked that night, a courier came dashing towards us, and brought the stirring news that McCall, with a heavy force, was marching from Drainsville to cut off Evans at Leesburgh. The latter, therefore, had hastily retreated to Goose Creek, ten miles nearer Centreville, and we were ordered to follow in his track, and if the enemy had really entered the town, a courier would inform us of it on the road, and give time to branch off towards Winchester, to get under the protection of Ashby. This indeed was startling news. The men had travelled much, and were excessively weary. The colonel decided not to call them up for a few hours, but give them rest. Towards twilight all were quietly awakened and informed of the state of things; the men good-humoredly arriving at the conclusion that we had better up stakes and dust out of the neighborhood in a mighty big hurry. Our wagons were sent out of the way by a road leading south-east, with
, our first orders were for a march to Charlestown; next day we moved back to Winchester, in a few days again back to Charlestown, and thence from one place to anotheemanded should be watched by a strong force. Accordingly Jackson was sent to Winchester with his old brigade, three thousand strong, and one battery of four pieces. Banks and his second in command, Shields, were in strong force in and around Winchester, and great circumspection was necessary to entice a part of their commands afth such a heavy force of the enemy; for they were reported as retreating from Winchester; but this proved untrue, for they were, as the battle proved, posted in consicertained during the engagement that Shields had already prepared to evacuate Winchester, and that all his baggage had passed through that same morning-he was only fitreat. Garnett, of course, was unaware of this, or he would have obeyed, and Winchester been ours; for when our forces retired, the enemy were amazed, and, instead o
d by us; with Ewell marching rapidly towards Winchester to seize the fortifications, and get still fabor, we camped at Newtown, a few miles from Winchester. Ewell had not been able to get into WinWinchester before Banks arrived; and as the place was strongly fortified, Jackson deferred all attack u For miles along the road towards and beyond Winchester, large and innumerable fires told that the e seemed on fire, yet every approach towards Winchester was still as death, which led many to supposf the twenty-fifth, Jackson began to move on Winchester. Dense columns of smoke issuing from the tof this morning, announcing the occupation of Winchester by Jackson, and the withdrawal of Banks, aft retreat, and the still greater slaughter at Winchester.) Presently General Williams, who had illiams and staff. While retreating through Winchester, women from the houses opened fire of pistols composed of negroes, and that the women of Winchester killed a great many of the Yankees. God f[9 more...]
e labors of this eagle-eyed and indefatigable old man. The greatest amount of affection seemed to be lavished upon privates; officers, for the most part, were treated coldly by the masses, and allowed to shift for themselves as best they could, for it was considered far more honorable to carry a musket than to loiter round Richmond in expensive gold-corded caps and coats. Volumes might be written upon the great kindness shown to our troops by the ladies of Virginia: although the women of Winchester, Leesburgh, Charlottesville, and other places, did much for the common cause, their noble-hearted and open-handed sisters of Richmond far surpassed them all. Nothing that human nature could do was left undone; and although much of this kindness and care were thrown away upon rude, uncouth objects, their humanity, patience, and unceasing solicitude are beyond all praise. But what shall I say of the army doctors and nurses? There was a great improvement! On the field, they endeavored to
hat Lee's plan surpasses any thing I have ever read in military history. Just look at the entire arrangement. When our main army fell back from Fredericksburgh, the Rappahannock, and Rapidan, and went to Yorktown to meet McClellan, Fredericksburgh was threatened by a large division under McDowell: Ewell was deputed to watch him, and did it well; but in the Valley there were not less than three army corps coming up to form a grand army to advance on Richmond from the west. Jackson was at Winchester with a small force, and was ordered to attack Shields, (Banks being sick,) so as to create a diversion in our favor. Although obliged to retire after the battle of Kearnstown, Jackson called on Ewell, and, receiving reenforcements from him, suddenly pounced down on Banks at Front Royal, and chased him to Washington, capturing immense quantities of baggage and thousands of prisoners. He retired again, and, recruited, rushed down the Valley, and instead of allowing Shields and Fremont to j
did this mean.? The movement of our trains was always an unerring thermometer of coming events; but why send them into Loudon, when the enemy are in force round Winchester, but thirty miles from Leesburgh? Such were my thoughts, and I felt Hold on awhile,! whispered a friend, there's a heavy cavalry force sent into the Valley, wl, but whether any such force or fortifications existed in fact I have never been able to learn with certainty. Cavalry were reported advancing rapidly upon Winchester, and accounts came in of several severe skirmishes with the Federals under White, who was said to be falling back upon Harper's Ferry, where General Miles commam. From their actions one would be led to suppose Federal commanders were asleep, or that they thought all Confederate attacks would come from the direction of Winchester, where much of our cavalry was stationed, foraging and the like. Suffice it to say, that many of our troops must have been elsewhere than in line between the P
n the impetuosity and rapidity of our attack. Leaving heaps of slain behind, and unheeding the constant cannonade maintained from Maryland, our forces withdrew towards the Opequan, and drew up in line of battle on the west side of it, our left extending to Williamsport and the Potomac. Although we were in battle array many days in anxious expectation, the Federals remained quiet in Maryland, and made no attempts to disturb us. A large mass of our troops had gone up the Valley towards Winchester, and halted there, and by degrees the whole army followed in the same direction, carefully carting and conveying away every-thing that could be of use; so that large part of the harvests recently gathered fell into the hands of our commissaries and quartermasters, thus leaving the whole country once again barren of supplies for any pursuing force. The only episode which enlivened our monotonous inactivity was a cavalry engagement (October second) between a small detachment of Stuart's
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