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[727] of the department in the neighborhood of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, under cover of about five thousand men I had posted at Romney,with the design of obtaining General McClellan's permission to take nearly all these troops and suddenly seize, fortify and hold Winchester, whereby I should at once more effectually cover the northeastern and central parts of Western Virginia, and at the same time threaten the left of the enemy's position at Manassas, compel him to lengthen his line of defense in front of the Army of the Potomac, and throw it farther south.

This plan of Rosecrans was foiled by Jackson's movement.

On the 1st of January, 1862, the latter left Winchester at the head of about ten thousand men, and moved toward Bath, in Morgan county. The fine weather of the preceding month changed on the very first night of the expedition, and a terrible storm of sleet and snow and cold set in, which, for the next three weeks, subjected the troops to the severest hardships, and finally forced their commander to suspend his forward movement. At first the troops marched cheerfully on in spite of cold and sleet. Bath was evacuated, but General Lander, who, within a day or two had superseded Rosecrans, hurried reinforcements to Hancock in time to prevent Jackson from crossing the Potomac. Jackson, having made a demonstration against Hancock, did what damage was possible to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and placed himself between Lander, at Hancock, and Kelly, at Romney, moved toward the latter place as fast as the icy roads would permit. Kelly did not await his approach but hastily retired, and, on January 14th, Jackson entered Romney. Here, though the weather and roads grew worse, the Confederate leader had no intention of stopping. He arrived at Cumberland and preparations were at once began for a movement on New Creek (now called Keyser), but when the orders to march were given the murmuring and discontent among his troops, especially among those which had recently come under his command, reached such a pitch that he reluctantly abandoned the enterprise, and determined to go into winter quarters. Leaving Loring and his troops at Romney, he returned with his old brigade to Winchester and disposed his cavalry and militia commands so as to protect the whole border of the district.

This expedition, though it had cleared his district of the foe, and effectually broke up the all plans of the enemy for a winter campaign against Winchester, was disappointing to Jackson as well as to the public. Though believing that results had been obtained which outweighed all the suffering and loss, he was conscious that winter and the lack of cordial support had prevented the accomplishment of far more important ends. But this did not lower his self-reliance or diminish his clear-sightedness. The discontent among

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