all the outlying posts of the Confederate
line were being severally driven in. Johnston
had retired from Manassas
to the line of the Rappahannock
, presently to proceed to Yorktown
, and eventually to retire thence to the Chickahominy
It was while lying there, awaiting McClellan
's attack, that we began to get news of very active proceedings in the Valley
region, which came to have important bearing upon our fortunes, and in the final issue to determine the contest we were expecting and awaiting in our immediate front.
to those sultry, squalid camps, reeking with malaria and swarming with flies, came from beyond the far-away Blue Ridge
stirring and encouraging tidings of rapid march and sudden swoop; of telling blows where least expected; of skilful maneuvering of a small force, resulting in the frustrating of all combinations of one numerically its superior, and paralyzing for the time being all the plans of the Federal
War Department and the grand strategy of the ‘young Napoleon
’ at the head of its armies in the field.
it seemed as if the sobriquet
conferred upon Manassas
field had become the veriest of misnomers; the ‘Stonewall
’ had acquired a marvelous mobility since that July day not yet a year old and had become a catapult instead.
And what, perhaps, appealed to our personal interest more forcibly was the story of the capture of the rich spoil of War, the supplies, of which we were already beginning to feel the need.
Our daily diet of unrelieved bread and bacon grew fairly nauseating at the thought of the bounty so generously provided by ‘Commissary-General
, and of the extra dainties inviting pillage in the tents of Israel—but we were to get our share, with accrued interest, later on.
we had not yet ceased to marvel over these exploits when Jackson
executed one of his mysterious disappearances, puzzling alike to friend and foe, and he next announced himself by the salvo of his guns, driving in McClellan
's exposed right.