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[12] 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's corps.

McClellan 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.

Thus Jackson'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 The militia of the adjoining counties had already been called to the field, but this resource was superseded on the 10th of April by the conscription act.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. Banks 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 westward. These were all made independent of McClellan and of each other. General Banks followed Jackson but slowly. 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 at Conrad'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

1 McClellan's report.

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