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The Federal forces, upon falling back into the town, preserved their organization remarkably well. In passing through its streets, however, they were thrown into confusion; and, shortly after debouching into the plain and turnpike to Martinsburg, and after being fired upon by our artillery, they presented the aspect of a mass of disordered fugitives. Never have I seen an opportunity when it was in the power of cavalry to reap a richer harvest of the fruits of victory.
2 May 29.
3 May 30.
4 Gen. McDowell, in his testimony before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, states that Shields's division, 11,000 strong, raising his entire force — not including Franklin's division. already sent to McClellan — to 41,000 men, joined him at or near Fredericksburg either on the 22d or 23d of May, but in want of artillery ammunition: that which they had having just been condemned at Catlett's Station. and the new supply ordered from the Washington arsenal having got aground on the flats of the Potomac and thus been delayed. On Saturday, the 24th the President and Secretary of War came down to confer with him, and found him not yet ready for the contemplated advance on Richmond, but that he would be that afternoon, and that Shields's division could go on Sunday. He [McDowell] added, that he had once before moved on Sunday--alluding to the battle of Bull Run--and had been very much condemned for it all over the country, but that he was ready to do so again. The President therefore suggested that he might get a “good ready,” and start on Monday, which was agreed on. Messrs. Lincoln and Stanton returned to Washington that night, and “had hardly left before a telegram came announcing this raid of Jackson up [down] the Shenandoah Valley.” This was soon followed by an order to send a division up after Jackson. McDowell adds: “I did so, although I replied that it was a crushing blow to us all.” The President ordered another brigade to move up there, and then another brigade, and then another regiment. Two divisions were thus sent before McDowell, whose heart was set on the Richmond movement, followed himself.
5 May 24.
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