severe repulse, but he makes such an impression as to cause the recall of a strong force from McClellan
to protect Washington
The Federal administration cannot believe that he has attacked Shields
with a handful men.
Falling back before his pursuers, he leaves the main road at Harrisonburg
and crossing over to Swift Run gap, he takes a position in which he cannot be readily attacked, and which yet enables him so to threaten the flank of his opponent as to effectually check his further progress.
Here he gains ten days time for the reorganization of his regiments, the time of service of most of which expired in April; and here, too, the return of furloughed men, and the accessions of volunteers, doubles his numbers.
Finding that no more troops could be obtained besides those of Ewell
and Edward Johnson
, he leaves the former to hold Banks
in check while he makes a rapid and circuitous march to General Edward Johnson
's position, near Staunton
's force with his own, he appears suddenly in front of Milroy
, at McDowell
, only eight days after having left Swift Run gap.
He has marched one hundred miles and crossed the Blue ridge
twice in this time, and now repulses Milroy
, and follows them up to Franklin
Then, finding Fremont
within supporting distance, he, on May 14th, begins to retrace his steps, marching through Harrisonburg
, New Market
joining him on the road, and swelling his force to sixteen thousand men, and, on May 23d, unexpectedly appears at Front Royal
(distant by his route nearly one hundred and twenty miles from Franklin
), and surprises and completely overwhelms the force Banks
has stationed there.
Next day he strikes with damaging effect at Banks
' retreating column, between Strasburg
, and follows him up all night.
At dawn he attacks him on the heights of Winchester
, forces him from his position, and drives him in confusion and dismay to the Potomac
, with the loss of immense stores and a large number of prisoners.
Resting but two days, he marches to Harper's Ferry
, threatens an invasion of Maryland
, and spreads such alarm as to paralyze the movement of McDowell
's four thousand men at Fredericksburg
, and to cause the concentration of half of this force, together with Fremont
's command, on his rear.
The militia of the adjoining States is called out; troops are hurried to Harper's Ferry
in his front; more than forty thousand troops are hastening, under the most urgent telegrams, to close in around him. Keeping up his demonstrations until the last moment, until, indeed, the head of McDowell
's column was but twelve or fourteen miles from his line of retreat, at a point nearly fifty miles in his rear, he, by a forced march of a day and a half, traverses this distance of fifty miles, and places himself at