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[735]

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 one brigade. Jackson at once decided upon his plan of campaign, and the very next day began to put it in execution. This campaign, so successful and brilliant in its results, and now so renowned, shows in its conception the strong points of Jackson's military genius, his clear, vigorous grasp of the situation, his decision, his energy, his grand audacity. It recalls the Italian campaign of 1796, when Napoleon astonished, baffled and defeated the armies of Beaulieu, Wurmser, and Alvinzy in succession. Jackson was now, with about six or seven thousand men, at the base of the Blue ridge, some thirty miles northeast of Staunton. Ewell, with an equal force, was in the vicinity of Gordonsville, twenty-five miles in his rear, and east of the mountains. Edward Johnson was seven miles west of Staunton with three thousand five hundred men. Such was the Confederate position. On the other hand, Banks, with the main body of his forces, of about twenty thousand men, occupied Harrisonburg, twelve or fifteen miles in Jackson's front. Schenck and Milroy, commanding Fremont's advance of six thousand men, were in front of Edward Johnson, their pickets already east of the Shenandoah mountain and on the Harrisonburg and Warm Spring turnpike. Fremont was preparing to join them from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad with ten thousand men-making the total of Fremont's force some fifteen thousand men. McDowell, with thirty thousand men, had drawn away from the Upper Rappahannock, and was concentrating at Fredericksburg. This movement of McDowell had released Ewell and left him free to aid Jackson, who, with a force of about sixteen thousand men (including Ewell and Edward Johnson), had on his hands the thirty-five thousand under Banks and Fremont. The Warm Springs turnpike afforded Banks a ready mode of uniting with Milroy and Schenck, in which case Staunton would be any easy capture. Fremont was already preparing to move in that direction. Jackson determined to anticipate such a movement, if possible, by uniting his own force to that of Johnson, and falling upon Milroy while Ewell kept Banks in check. Then he would join Ewell and with all his strength attack Banks.

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Ewell (6)
Banks (6)
Edward Johnson (5)
Fremont (5)
T. J. Jackson (4)
Milroy (3)
Robert Schenck (2)
Sunday McDowell (2)
Napoleon (1)
Fitz Lee (1)
Jefferson Davis (1)
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1796 AD (1)
April 28th (1)
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