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[210] Colonel Kenley and his men fought gallantly and obstinately for three or four hours, and thus retarded the Confederate advance; but they were at last overpowered by superior numbers, and nearly all cut to pieces or taken prisoners.

The startling news reached General Banks at nightfall, and, after a little reflection, he determined to move upon Winchester as rapidly as possible. Accordingly, at a very early hour the next morning he began his march. His column was attacked in flank while on the way, and a portion of tie rearguard turned back to Strasburg. At four o'clock in the afternoon the advance-guard arrived at Winchester. The whole force General Banks had with him was less than five thousand men, while that of the enemy was fifteen thousand at least. At Winchester General Banks determined to try the strength of the Confederates by actual collision; and preparations were made accordingly during the night. The engagement began early the next morning, and held the enemy in check for five hours. Our soldiers fought well, and were well handled; but it was in vain to contend against such odds, and orders were given to withdraw. The pursuit by the enemy was prompt and vigorous, and the retreat rapid and without serious loss. A halt of two hours and a half was made at Martinsburg; and the rear-guard finally reached the Potomac at sunset on the 25th. This was forty-eight hours after the first news of the attack on Front Royal. It was a march of fifty-three miles, thirty-five of which were performed in one day. The

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N. P. Banks (3)
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