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[11] and sank to rest. In the fence corners, under the trees, and around the wagons, the soldiers threw themselves down, many too tired to eat, and forgot in profound slumbers the toils, dangers and disappointments of the day. Jackson shared the open air bivouac with his men, and found the rest that nature demanded on some fence rails in a corner of the road. Next morning he crossed to the south side of Cedar creek, and gradually retired before the advancing enemy once more to Mount Jackson.

The bold attack of Jackson at Kernstown, though unsuccessful, led to many important results. Its first effect was the recall of the Federal troops then marching from the Valley towards Manassas. General Shields says: “Though the battle had been won, still I could not have believed that Jackson would have hazarded a decisive engagement so far from the main body without expecting reinforcements; so to be prepared for such a contingency, I set to work during the night (after the battle) to bring together all the troops within my reach. I sent an express after Williams' division, requesting the rear brigade, about twenty miles distant, to march all night and join me in the morning. I swept the posts and routes in my rear of almost all their guards, hurrying them forward by forced marches to be with me at daylight. * * * * General Banks, hearing of our engagement on his way to Washington, halted at Harper's Ferry, and with remarkable promptitude and sagacity, ordered back Williams' whole division, so that my express found the rear brigade already en route to join us. The General himself returned forthwith, and after making me a hasty visit, assumed command of the forces in pursuit of the enemy. This pursuit was kept up * * * until they reached Woodstock.”

Thus the design of McClellan to post Banks' corps at Centreville (see letter of March 16th) became impracticable, and that body of over 20,000 troops was thought necessary to guard against the further movements of Jackson's 3,000 and the imaginary reinforcements with which they supplied him. This battle too, no doubt, decided the question of the detachment of Blenker's division of 10,000 men from McClellan, and its transfer to Fremont, recently placed in command of the Mountain Department, which embraced West Virginia. While en route from Alexandria to join Fremont, Blenker's division was to report to Banks, and remain with him as long as he thought any attack from Jackson impending.1 A

1 McClellan's report.

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