by John D. Imboden, Brigadier-General, C. S. A.
Soon after the battle of Bull Run Stonewall Jackson
was promoted to major-general, and the Confederate Government having on the 21st of October, 1861, organized the Department of Northern Virginia, under command of General Joseph E. Johnston
, it was divided into the Valley District, the Potomac District, and Aquia District, to be commanded respectively by Major-Generals Jackson
, and Holmes
On October 28th General Johnston
to assume command of his district, and on the 6th of November the War Department ordered his old “Stonewall
” brigade and six thousand troops under command of Brigadier-General W. W. Loring
to report to him. These, together with Turner Ashby
's cavalry, gave him a force of about ten thousand men all told.
A Confederate of 1862.|
His only movement of note in the winter of 1861-62 was an expedition at the end of December to Bath
, to destroy the Baltimore and Ohio railroad and a dam or two near Hancock
on the Chesapeake and Ohio canal
The weather set in to be very inclement about New Year's, with snow, rain, sleet, high winds, and intense cold.
Many in Jackson
's command were opposed to the expedition, and as it resulted in nothing of much military importance, but was attended with great suffering on the part of his troops, nothing but the confidence he had won by his previous services saved him from personal ruin.
He and his second in command, General Loring
, had a serious disagreement.
He ordered Loring
to take up his quarters, in January, in the exposed and cheerless village of Romney
, on the south branch of the upper Potomac.
objected to this, but Jackson
and his principal officers united in a petition to Mr. Benjamin
, Secretary of War
, to order them to Winchester
, or at least away from Romney
This document was sent direct to the War Office, and the Secretary
, in utter disregard
of “good order and discipline,” granted the request without consulting Jackson
As soon as information reached Jackson
of what had been done, he indignantly resigned his commission.
was astounded, and at once wrote Jackson
a sympathetic letter, and then expostulated with Mr. Davis
and his Secretary
with such vigor that an apology was sent to Jackson
for their obnoxious course.
The orders were revoked and modified, and Jackson
was induced to retain his command.
This little episode gave the Confederate
civil authorities an inkling of what manner of man “Stonewall
In that terrible winter's march and exposure, Jackson
endured all that any private was exposed to. One morning, near Bath
, some of his men, having crawled out from under their snow-laden blankets, half-frozen, were cursing him as the cause of their sufferings.
He lay close by under a tree, also snowed under, and heard all this; and, without noticing it, presently crawled out, too, and, shaking the snow off, made some jocular remark to the nearest men, who had no idea he had ridden up in the night and lain down amongst them.
The incident ran through the little army in a few hours, and reconciled his followers to all the hardships of the expedition, and fully reestablished his popularity.
In March, Johnston
withdrew from Manassas
, and General McClellan
collected his army of more than one hundred thousand men on the Peninsula
moved south to confront him. McClellan
had planned and organized a masterly movement to capture, hold, and occupy the Valley
and the Piedmont
region; and if his subordinates had been equal to the task, and there had been no interference from Washington
, it is probable the Confederate army would have been driven out of Virginia
captured by midsummer, 1862.
's little army in the Valley
had been greatly reduced during the winter from various causes, so that at the beginning of March he did not have over 5000 men of all arms available for the defense of his district, which began to swarm with enemies all around its borders, aggregating more than ten times his own strength.
Having retired up the Valley
, he learned that the enemy had begun to withdraw and send troops to the east of the mountains to cooperate with McClellan
This he resolved to stop by an aggressive demonstration against Winchester
, occupied by General Shields
, of the Federal
army, with a division of 8000 to 10,000 men.
A little after the middle of March, Jackson
concentrated what troops he could, and on the 23d he occupied a ridge at the hamlet of Kernstown
miles south of Winchester
promptly attacked him, and a severe engagement of several hours ensued, ending in Jackson
's repulse about dark, followed by an orderly retreat up the Valley
to near Swift Run Gap in Rockingham county
The pursuit was not vigorous nor persistent.2
retired before superior numbers, he had given a taste of his fighting qualities that stopped the withdrawal of the enemy's troops from the Valley
The result was so pleasing to the Richmond
government and General Johnston
that it was decided to reenforce Jackson
by sending General Ewell
's division to him at Swift Run Gap, which reached him about the 1st of May, thus giving Jackson
an aggregate force of from 13,000 to 15,000 men to open his campaign with.
At the beginning of May the situation was broadly about as follows: Milroy
, with about 4087 men, was on the Staunton
road at McDowell
, less than forty miles from Staunton
, with Schenck
's brigade of about 2500 near Franklin
The rest of Fremont
's army in the mountain department was then about 30,000 men, of whom 20,000 were concentrating at Franklin
, fifty miles north-west of Staunton
, and within supporting distance of Milroy
, who had fortified Strasburg
, seventy miles north-east of Staunton
by the great Valley turnpike, to fall back upon in an emergency, had pushed forward a force of 20,000 men to Harrisonburg
, including Shields
's division, 10,000 strong.
, with 34,000 men, exclusive of Shields
's division, was at points east of the Blue Ridge
, so as to be able to move either to Fredericksburg
or to the Luray Valley
and thence to Staunton
Not counting Colonel Miles
's, later Saxton
's, command, at Harper's Ferry
, which was rapidly increased to 7000 men, sent from Washington
and other points north of the Potomac
, before the end of May, Jackson
had about 80,000 men to take into account (including all Union forces north of the Rappahannock
and east of the Ohio
) and to keep from a junction with McClellan
in front of Richmond
Not less than 65,0003
of these enemies were in the Valley
under their various commanders in May and June [see p. 299].
's division already mentioned, General Johnston
could give no further assistance to Jackson
, for McClellan
was right in his front with superior numbers, and menacing the capital of the Confederacy
with almost immediate and certain capture.
Its only salvation depended upon Jackson
's ability to hold back Fremont
, and McDowell
long enough to let Johnston
try doubtful conclusions with McClellan
If he failed in this, these three commanders of an aggregate force then reputed to be, and I believe in fact, over one hundred thousand4
would converge and move down upon Richmond
from the west as McClellan
advanced from the east, and the city and its defenders would fall an easy prey to nearly, if not quite, a quarter of a million of the best-armed and best-equipped men ever put into the field by any government.
Early in May, Jackson
was near Port Republic
contemplating his surroundings and maturing his plans.
What these latter were no one but himself knew.
Suddenly the appalling news spread through the Valley
that he had fled to
Map of the battle of McDowell.
[see P. 298.] by Major Jed. Hotchkiss, Topographical Engineer, Valley District, Army of Northern Virginia.
The Confederate commands (indicated by white bars) of Generals Edward Johnson and W. B. Taliaferro were posted on Setlington's Hill in the following order, beginning on the left: 52d, 10th, 58th, 31st, and 23d Virginia; 12th Georgia; 37th Virginia.
General Milroy's troops (indicated by black bars) moved from the valley of the Bull Pasture River against the Confederate position, and were engaged from right to left, as follows: 25th, 75th, 32d, and 82d Ohio, and 3d W. Virginia, with Johnson's 12th Ohio battery on Hall's Ridge, the extreme left.
The attack opened on the Union right and ended with a flank movement by the regiments on the left. |
the east side of the Blue Ridge
through Brown's and Swift Run Gaps.
remained behind with about one thousand cavalry, scattered and moving day and night in the vicinity of McDowell
, Front Royal
, and Luray
, and reporting to Jackson
every movement of the enemy.
Despair was fast settling upon the minds of the people of the Valley
made no concealment of his flight, the news of which soon reached his enemies.
advanced two regiments to the top of the Shenandoah Mountain
, only twenty-two miles from Staunton
, and was preparing to move his entire force to Staunton
, to be followed by Fremont
had collected, from Charlottesville
and other stations on the Virginia Central Railroad, enough railway trains to transport all of his little army.
That it was to be taken to Richmond
when the troops were all embarked no one doubted.
It was Sunday, and many of his sturdy soldiers were Valley men. With sad and gloomy hearts they boarded the trains at Mechum's River Station.
When all were on, lo!
they took a westward course, and a little after noon the first train rolled into Staunton
News of Jackson
's arrival spread like wild-fire, and crowds flocked to the station to see the soldiers and learn what it all meant.
No one knew.
As soon as the troops could be put in motion they took the road leading toward McDowell
, the general having sent forward cavalry to Buffalo Gap
and beyond to arrest all persons going that way. General Edward Johnson
, with one of Jackson's Valley brigades, was already at Buffalo Gap
The next morning, by a circuitous mountain-path, he tried to send a brigade of infantry to the rear of Milroy
's two regiments on Shenandoah Mountain
, but they were improperly guided and failed to reach the position in time, so that when attacked in front both regiments escaped.
followed as rapidly as possible, and the following day, May 8th, on top of the Bull Pasture Mountain
, three miles east of McDowell
, encountered Milroy
reinforced by Schenck
, who commanded by virtue of seniority of commission.
The conflict lasted several
hours, and was severe and bloody.
It was fought mainly with small-arms, the ground forbidding much use of artillery.
fled precipitately toward Franklin
, to unite with Fremont
The route lay along a narrow valley hedged up by high mountains, perfectly protecting the flanks of the retreating army from Ashby
's pursuing cavalry, led by Captain Sheetz
ordered him to pursue as vigorously as possible, and to guard completely all avenues of approach from the direction of McDowell
till relieved of this duty.
buried the dead and rested his army, and then fell back to the Valley
on the Warm Springs
The morning after the battle of McDowell
I called very early on Jackson
at the residence of Colonel George W. Hull
of that village, where he had his headquarters, to ask if I could be of any service to him, as I had to go to Staunton
, forty miles distant, to look after some companies that were to join my command.
He asked me to wait a few moments, as he wished to prepare a telegram to be sent to President Davis
, the nearest office to McDowell
He took a seat at a table and wrote nearly half a page of foolscap; he rose and stood before the fireplace pondering it some minutes; then he tore it in pieces and wrote again, but much less, and again destroyed what he had written, and paced the room several times.
He suddenly stopped, seated himself, and dashed off two or three lines, folded the paper, and said, “Send that off as soon as you reach Staunton
As I bade him “good-bye,” he remarked: “I may have other telegrams to-day or to-morrow, and will send them to you for transmission.
I wish you to have two or three well-mounted couriers ready to bring me the replies promptly.”
I read the message he had given me. It was dated “McDowell
,” and read about thus: “Providence
blessed our arms with victory at McDowell
That was all. A few days after I got to Staunton
a courier arrived with a message to be telegraphed to the Secretary of War
I read it, sent it off, and ordered a courier to be ready with his horse, while I waited at the telegraph office for the reply.
The message was to this effect: “I think I ought to attack Banks
, but under my orders I do not feel at liberty to do so.”
In less than an hour a reply came, but not from the Secretary of War
It was from General Joseph E. Johnston
, to whom I supposed the Secretary
had referred General Jackson
I have a distinct recollection of its substance, as follows: “If you think you can beat Banks
, attack him. I only intended by my orders to caution you against attacking fortifications.”
was understood to have fortified himself strongly at Strasburg
and Cedar Creek
, and he had fallen back there.
I started the courier with this reply, as I supposed, to McDowell
, but, lo!
it met Jackson
only twelve miles from Staunton
, to which point on the Harrisonburg
and Warm Springs turnpike
he had marched his little army, except Ashby
's cavalry, which, under an intrepid leader, Captain Sheetz
, he had sent from McDowell
to menace Fremont
, who was concentrating at Franklin
in Pendleton County
, where he remained in blissful ignorance that Jackson
had left McDowell
, till he learned by telegraph some days later that Jackson
had fallen upon Banks
at Front Royal
and driven him through Winchester
and across the Potomac
Two hours after receiving this telegram from General Johnston
was en route
, where he came upon the great Valley turnpike. By forced marches he reached New Market
in two days. Detachments of cavalry guarded every road beyond him, so that Banks
remained in total ignorance of his approach.
This Federal commander had the larger part of his force well fortified at and near Strasburg
, but he kept a large detachment at Front Royal
, about eight miles distant and facing the Luray
or Page Valley
From New Market Jackson
disappeared so suddenly that the people of the Valley
were again mystified.
He crossed the Massanutten Mountain
, hurried toward Front Royal
He sometimes made thirty miles in twenty-four hours with his entire army, thus gaining for his infantry the sobriquet of “Jackson
's foot cavalry.”
Very early in the afternoon of May 23d he struck Front Royal
The surprise was complete and disastrous to the enemy, who were commanded by Colonel John R. Kenly
After a fruitless resistance they fled toward Winchester
, twenty miles distant, with Jackson
at their heels.7
A large number were captured within four miles by a splendid cavalry dash of Colonel Flournoy
and Lieutenant-Colonel Watts
News of this disaster reached Banks
, by which he learned that Jackson
was rapidly gaining his rear toward Newtown
The works Banks
had constructed had not been made for defense in that direction, so he abandoned them and set out with all haste for Winchester
; but, en route,
(May 24th), Jackson
struck his flank, inflicting heavy loss, and making large captures of property, consisting of wagons, teams, camp-equipage, provisions, ammunition, and over nine thousand stand of arms, all new and in perfect order, besides a large number of prisoners.8
now chased Banks
's fleeing army to Winchester
, where the latter made a stand, but after a sharp engagement with Ewell
's division on the 25th he fled again, not halting till he had crossed the Potomac
, congratulating himself and his Government in a dispatch that his army was at last safe in Maryland
. General Saxton
, with some 7000 men, held Harper's Ferry
miles from Winchester
paid his respects to this fortified post, by marching a large part of his forces close to it, threatening an assault, long enough to allow all the captured property at Winchester
to be sent away toward Staunton
, and then returned to Winchester
His problem now was to escape the clutches of Fremont
, knowing that that officer would be promptly advised by wire of what had befallen Banks
He could go back the way he came, by the Luray Valley
, but that would expose Staunton
(the most important depot in the valley) to capture by Fremont
, and he had made his plans to save it.
I had been left at Staunton
organizing my recruits.
On his way to attack Banks
sent me an order from New Market
to throw as many men as I could arm, and as quickly as possible, into Brock's Gap, west of Harrisonburg
, and into any other mountain-pass through which Fremont
could reach the valley at or south of Harrisonburg
I knew that within four miles of Franklin
, on the main road leading to Harrisonburg
, there was a narrow defile hemmed in on both sides by nearly perpendicular cliffs, over five hundred feet high.
I sent about fifty men, well armed with long-range guns, to occupy these cliffs, and defend the passage to the last extremity.
On the 25th of May, as soon as Fremont
learned of Banks
's defeat and retreat to the Potomac
, he put his army of about 14,000 in motion from Franklin
to cut off Jackson
's retreat up the valley.
's men were still in his front toward McDowell
, with an unknown force; so Fremont
did not attempt that route, but sent his cavalry to feel the way toward Brock's Gap, on the direct road to Harrisonburg
The men I had sent to the cliffs let the head of
the column get well into the defile or gorge, when, from a position of perfect safety to themselves, they poured a deadly volley into the close column.
The attack being unexpected, and coming from, a foe of unknown strength, the Federal
column halted and hesitated to advance.
Another volley and the “rebel yell” from the cliffs turned them back, never to appear again.
took the road to Moorefield
, and thence to Strasburg
, though he had been peremptorily ordered on May 24th by President Lincoln
to proceed direct to Harrisonburg
It shows how close had been Jackson
's calculation of chances, to state that as his rear-guard marched up Fisher's Hill
, two miles from Strasburg
's advance came in sight on the mountain-side on the road from Moorefield
, and a sharp skirmish took place.
continued to Harrisonburg
, hotly pursued by Fremont
, but avoiding a conflict.
The news of Banks
's defeat created consternation at Washington
, and Shields
was ordered to return from east of the Blue Ridge
to the Luray Valley
in all haste to cooperate with Fremont
was advised of Shields
's approach, and his aim was to prevent a junction of their forces till he reached a point where he could strike them in quick succession.
He therefore sent cavalry detachments along the Shenandoah
to burn the bridges as far as Port Republic
, the river being at that time too full for fording.
he took the road leading to Port Republic
, and ordered me from Staunton
, with a mixed battery and battalion of cavalry, to the bridge over North River
near Mount Crawford
, to prevent a cavalry force passing to his rear.
At Cross Keys, about six miles from Harrisonburg
, he delivered battle to Fremont
, on June 8th, and, after a long and bloody conflict, as night closed in he was master of the field.
Leaving one division — Ewell
's — on the ground, to resist Fremont
if he should return next day, he that night marched the rest of his army to Port Republic
, which lies in the forks of the river, and made his arrangements to attack the troops of Shields
's command next morning on the Lewis farm
, just below the town.
On the day of the conflict at Cross Keys
I held the bridge across North River
at Mount Crawford
with a battalion of cavalry, four howitzers, and a Parrott gun, to prevent a cavalry flank movement on Jackson
's trains at Port Republic
About 10 o'clock at night I received a note from Jackson
, written in pencil on the blank margin of a newspaper, directing me to report with my command at Port Republic
On the same slip, and as a postscript, he wrote, “Poor Ashby
He fell gloriously.
View of the battle of cross Keys, from the Union position, looking East.
From a sketch made at the time.9 |
. . . I know you will join with me in mourning the loss of our friend, one of the noblest men and soldiers in the Confederate army.”
I carried that slip of paper till it was literally worn to tatters.
It was early, Sunday, June 8th, when Jackson
and his staff reached the bridge at Port Republic
. General E. B. Tyler
, who, with two brigades of Shields
's division, was near by on the east side of the river, had sent two
guns and a few men under a green and inefficient officer to the bridge.
They arrived about the same time as Jackson
, but, his troops soon coming up, the Federal
officer and his supports made great haste back to the Lewis farm
, losing a gun at the bridge.
I reached Port Republic
an hour before daybreak of June 9th, and sought the house occupied by Jackson
; but not wishing to disturb him so early, I asked the sentinel what room was occupied by “Sandy” Pendleton
“Upstairs, first room on the right,” he replied.
Supposing he meant our right as we faced the house, I went up, softly opened the door, and discovered General Jackson
lying on his face across the bed, fully dressed, with sword, sash, and boots all on. The low-burnt tallow candle on the table shed a dim light, yet enough by which to recognize him. I endeavored to withdraw without waking him. He turned over, sat up on the bed, and called out, “Who is that?”
He checked my apology with “That is all right.
It's time to be up. I am glad to see you. Were the men all up as you came through camp?”
“ Yes, General, and cooking.”
We move at daybreak.
I want to talk to you.”
I had learned never to ask him questions about his plans, for he would never answer such to any one.
I therefore waited for him to speak first.
He referred very feelingly to Ashby
's death, and spoke of it as an irreparable loss.
When he paused I said, “General, you made a glorious winding — up of your four weeks work yesterday.”
He replied, “Yes, God blessed our army again yesterday, and I hope with his protection and blessing we shall do still better to-day.”
Then seating himself, for the first time in all my intercourse with him, he outlined the day's proposed operations.
I remember perfectly his conversation.
He said: “Charley Winder
commanding his old ‘ Stonewall
’ brigade] will cross the river at daybreak and attack Shields
on the Lewis farm
[two miles below]. I shall support him with all the other troops as fast as they can be put in line.
General Dick Taylor
will move through the woods on the side of the mountain with his Louisiana
brigade, and rush upon their left flank by the time the action becomes general.
By 10 o'clock we shall get them on the run, and I'll now tell you what I want with you. Send the big new rifle-gun you have [a 12-pounder Parrott
] to Poague
[commander of the Rockbridge artillery] and let your mounted men report to the cavalry.
I want you in person to
Pennsylvania “bucktails.” Colonel Johnson, mounted.
The first Maryland (Confederate) regiment at Harrisonburg, June 6, 1862, and the death of Ashby.
In the affair of the rear-guard at Harrisonburg on the 6th of June, 1862, the 1st Maryland Regiment, Colonel (afterward General) Bradley T. Johnson, was ordered by General Ewell to charge through the woods to the left in support of the 58th Virginia, then closely engaged with the Pennsylvania 13th (“Bucktails”). They charged with a cheer, but soon began to suffer from a fire in the flank and rear.
Colonel Johnson gave the command, “By the right flank, file right, march!”
As soon as the colors came into line--“By the left flank, charge!” The right companies charged at double-quick, the left companies coming up on a run — thus changing front to the right under fire.
At the same instant a volley from the enemy swept down the front files of the color company and color guard, killed the horses of General Turner Ashby and Colonel Johnson, and in a second after killed Ashby.
Johnson, disentangling himself from his horse, led his regiment on, and, according to Ewell, “drove the enemy off with heavy loss,” wounding and capturing their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas L. Kane. General Fremont wrote that “a battalion of Colonel Kane's (Pennsylvania) regiment entered the woods under the direction of Brigadier-General [George D.] Bayard, and maintained for half an hour a vigorous attack, in which both sides suffered severely, driving the enemy.”
Ashby was directing when he fell not thirty yards from the enemy.
Three Confederate color-sergeants were shot at one flag.
As the regiment was moving into the battle of Cross Keys, June 8th, General Ewell directed Colonel Johnson to carry one of the bucktails captured from the enemy affixed to his colors as a trophy.--Editors. |
take your mounted howitzers to the field, in some safe position in rear of the line, keeping everything packed on the mules, ready at any moment to take to the mountain-side.
Three miles below Lewis
's there is a defile on the Luray
may rally and make a stand there.
If he does, I can't reach him with the field-batteries on account of the woods.
You can carry your 12-pounder howitzers on the mules up the mountain-side, and at some good place unpack and shell the enemy out of the defile, and the cavalry will do the rest.”
This plan of battle was carried out to the letter.
I took position in a ravine about two hundred yards in rear of Poague
's battery in the center of the line.
, who had two brigades of Shields
's division, made a very stubborn fight, and by 9 o'clock matters began to look very serious for us. Dick Taylor
had not yet come down out of the woods on Tyler
's left flank.
Meanwhile I was having a remarkable time with our mules in the ravine.
Some of the shot aimed at Poague
came bounding over our heads, and occasionally a shell would burst there.
The mules became frantic.
They kicked, plunged, and squealed.
was impossible to quiet them, and it took three or tour men to hold one mule from breaking away.
Each mule had about three hundred pounds weight on him, so securely fastened that the load could not be dislodged by any of his capers.
Several of them lay down and tried to wallow their loads off. The men held these down, and that suggested the idea of throwing them all on the ground and holding them there.
The ravine sheltered us so that we were in no danger from the shot or shell which passed over us.
Just about the time our mule “circus” was at its height, news came up the line from the left that Winder
's brigade near the river was giving way. Jackson
rode down in that direction to see what it meant.
As he passed on the brink of our ravine, his eye caught the scene, and, reining up a moment, he accosted me with, “Colonel
, you seem to have trouble down there.”
I made some reply which drew forth a hearty laugh, and he said, “Get your mules to the mountain as soon as you can, and be ready to move.”
Then he dashed on. He found his old brigade had yielded slightly to overwhelming pressure.10
Galloping up, he was received with a cheer; and, calling
out at the top of his voice, “The ‘Stonewall
’ brigade never retreats; follow me!”
led them back to their original line.
soon made his appearance, and the flank attack settled the work of the day. A wild retreat began.
The pursuit was vigorous.
No stand was made in the defile.
We pursued them eight miles. I rode back with Jackson
, and at sunset we were on the battle-field at the Lewis
accosted a medical officer, and said, “Have you brought off all the wounded?”
“Yes, all of ours, but not all of the enemy's.”
“Because we were shelled from across the river.”
“Had you your hospital flag on the field?”
“And they shelled that?”
“Well, take your men to their quarters; I would rather let them all die than have one of my men shot intentionally under the yellow flag when trying to save their wounded.”
, hearing the noise of the battle, had hurried out from near Harrisonburg
to help Tyler
; but Jackson
had burnt the bridge at Port Republic
, after Ewell
had held Fremont
in check some time on the west side of the river and escaped, so that when Fremont
came in sight of Tyler
's battle-field, the latter's troops had been routed and the river could not be crossed.
The next day I returned to Staunton
, and found General W. H. C. Whiting
, my old commander after the fall of General Bee
at Bull Run
, arriving with a division of troops to reinforce Jackson
Taking him and his staff to my house as guests, General Whiting
left soon after breakfast with a guide to call on Jackson
at Swift Run Gap, near Port Republic
, where he was resting his troops.
The distance from Staunton
was about twenty miles, but Whiting
returned after midnight. He was in a towering passion, and declared that Jackson
had treated him outrageously.
I asked, “How is that possible, General, for he is very polite to every one?”
“ Oh! hang him, he was polite enough.
But he didn't say one word about his plans.
I finally asked him for orders, telling him what troops I had. He simply told me to go back to Staunton
, and he would send me orders
I haven't the slightest idea what they will be. I believe he hasn't any more sense than my horse.”
Seeing his frame of mind, and he being a guest in my house, I said little.
Just after breakfast, next morning, a courier arrived with a terse order to embark his troops on the railroad trains and move to Gordonsville
at once, where he would receive further orders.
This brought on a new explosion of wrath.
“Didn't I tell you he was a fool, and doesn't this prove it?
Why, I just came through Gordonsville
day before yesterday.”
However, he obeyed the order; and when he reached Gordonsville
he found Jackson
there, and his little Valley army coming after him; a few days later McClellan
was astounded to learn that Jackson
was on his right flank on the Chickahominy
Shortly after the seven days battle around Richmond
, I met Whiting
again, and he then said: “I didn't know Jackson
when I was at your house.
I have found out now what his plans were, and they were worthy of a Napoleon.
But I still think he ought to have told me his plans; for if he had died McClellan
would have captured Richmond
I wouldn't have known what he was driving at, and might have made a mess of it. But I take back all I said about his being a fool.”
From the date of Jackson
's arrival at Staunton
till the battle of Port Republic
was thirty-five days. He marched from Staunton
, 40 miles, from McDowell
to Front Royal
, about 110, from Front Royal
, 20 miles, Winchester
to Port Republic
, 75 miles, a total of 245 miles, fighting in the meantime 4 desperate battles, and winning them all.
On the 17th of June, leaving only his cavalry, under Brigadier-General B. H. Robertson
, and Chew
's battery, and the little force I was enlisting in the valley (which was now no longer threatened by the enemy), Jackson
moved all his troops south-east, and on the 25th arrived at Ashland
, seventeen miles from Richmond
This withdrawal from the valley was so skillfully managed that his absence from the scene of his late triumphs was unsuspected at Washington
On the contrary, something like a panic prevailed there, and the Government
was afraid to permit McDowell
to unite his forces with McClellan
's lest it should uncover and expose the capital to Jackson
's supposed movement on it.
's military operations were always unexpected and mysterious.
In my personal intercourse with him in the early part of the war, before he had become famous, he often said there were two things never to be lost sight of by a military commander: “Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy, if possible; and when you strike and overcome him, never let up in the pursuit so long as your men have strength to follow; for an army routed, if hotly pursued, becomes panic-stricken, and can then be destroyed by half their number.
The other rule is, never fight against heavy odds, if by any possible manoeuvring you can hurl your own force on only a part, and that the weakest part, of your enemy and crush it. Such tactics will win every time, and a small army may thus destroy a large one in detail, and repeated victory will make it invincible.”
His celerity of movement was a simple matter.
He never broke down his
men by too-long-continued marching.
He rested the whole column very often, but only for a few minutes at a time.
I remember that he liked to see the men lie down flat on the ground to rest, and would say, “A man rests all over when he lies down.”