previous next
[749] Strasburg. Here he keeps Fremont at bay until his long train of prisoners and captured stores has passed through in safety, and his rear guard closed up. Then he falls back before Fremont, while by burning successively the bridges over the main fork of the Shenandoah, he destroys all co-operation between his pursuers. Having retreated as far as necessary, he turns off from Harrisonburg to Port Republic, seizes the only bridge left south of Front Royal over the Shenandoah, and takes a position which enables him to fight his adversaries in succession, while they cannot succor each other. Fremont first attacks, and is severely repulsed, and next morning Jackson, withdrawing suddenly from his front, and destroying the bridge to prevent his following, attacks the advance brigades of Shields, and completely defeats them, driving them eight or ten miles from the battle-field.

A week of rest, and Jackson, having disposed of his various enemies, and effected the permanent withdrawal of McDowell's Corps from the forces operating against Richmond, is again on the march, and while Banks, Fremont and McDowell are disposing their broken or baffled forces to cover Washington, is hastening to aid in the great series of battles which, during the last days of June and the early ones of July, resulted in the defeat of McClellan's army and the relief of the Confederate capital.

I have thus tried to give you, fellow soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia, an outline of one of the most brilliant pages of our history. Time has not permitted me to dwell on the great deeds which crowded those few months, or to characterize, in fitting terms of panegyric, the mighty actors in them. I have attempted nothing beyond a simple and carefully accurate statement of the facts. This may help to clear away from one campaign the dust and mould which already gathers over the memories of the great struggle. It may do more. It may, by touching the electric chord of association, transport us for the time into the presence of the majestic dead, and of the mighty drama, the acting of which was like another and higher life, and the contemplation of which should tend to strengthen, elevate, ennoble. It is wise in our day — it is wise always — to recur to a time when patriotism was a passion; when devotion to great principles dwarfed all considerations other than those of truth and right; when duty was felt to be the sublimest word in our language; when sacrifice outweighed selfishness; when human virtue was equal to human calamity. Among the heroes of that time Jackson holds a high place — a worthy member of a worthy band-aye, of a band than which no land in any age can point to a worthier.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Fremont (4)
T. J. Jackson (3)
Sunday McDowell (2)
James Shields (1)
H. B. McClellan (1)
Banks (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July (1)
June (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: