few days later, the sensitiveness of the Federal Government
to the danger of Washington
, excited anew by Jackson
's movements, led to the detachment of McDowell
had left over 70,000 men1
for the defence of Washington
and its approaches, and yet, after Kernstown
, President Lincoln
felt so insecure, that on April 3d he countermanded the order for the embarkation of McDowell
's corps, and detained it to replace Banks
in front of Washington
, and so deprived McClellan
of the finest body of troops in his army.
's bold dash had effected the object of General Johnston
in leaving him in the Valley
, in a way far more thorough than.
either of them could have expected.
The next month was to Jackson
one of comparative inaction.
Having slowly retreated to the south bank of the Shenandoah
near Mount Jackson
, he spent the next few weeks in resting and recruiting his forces.
The militia of the adjoining counties had already been called to the field, but this resource was superseded on the 10th of April by the conscription act. The time for reorganizing the regiments was near at hand.
New officers were to be elected.
The ranks were filling up under the impetus given to volunteering by the conscription bill.
The weather during the first half of April was very raw and cold, and during the whole month was exceedingly rainy.
All these causes rendered quiet very acceptable to the Confederates
Nor was the enemy in haste to disturb them.
was on April 4th placed in independent command of the Department of the Shenandoah, and McDowell
of the country between the Blue Ridge
and the Rappahannock
, while Fremont
was in command from the Alleghanies
These were all made independent of McClellan
and of each other.
He reached Woodstock
on April 1st, and having pushed back Ashby
's cavalry to Edinburg
, five miles beyond, he attempted no further serious advance until the 17th.
He then moved forward in force, and Jackson
retired to Harrisonburg
, where he turned at right angles to the left, and crossing the main fork of the Shenandoah
's store, took up his position at the western base of the Blue Ridge mountains
, in Swift Run Gap.
This camp the Confederates
reached on the 20th of April, and here they remained through ten days more of rain and mud.
Meantime, the advance of McClellan
up the peninsula had begun