Jackson at once decided upon his plan of campaign, and the very next day began to put it in execution.
This campaign, so( successful and brilliant in its results, and now so renowned, shows in its conception the strong points of Jackson
's military genius — his clear, vigorous grasp of the situation — his decision, his energy, his grand audacity.
It recalls the Italian
campaign of 1796, when Napoleon
astonished, baffled, defeated the armies of Beaulieu
, Wurmser and Alvinzy in succession.
was now with about 6,000 men at the base of the Blue Ridge
, some thirty miles northeast of Staunton
with an equal force was in the vicinity of Gordonsville
, twenty-five miles in his rear, and east of the mountains.
was seven miles west of Staunton
with 3,500 men,--such the Confederate
On the other hand, Banks
, with the main body of his force of about 20,000 men, occupied Harrisonburg
, twelve or fifteen miles in Jackson
, commanding Fremont
's advance of 6,000 men, were in front of Edward Johnson
, their pickets already east of the Shenandoah mountain
, and on the Harrisonburg
and Warm Springs turnpike
was preparing to join them from the Baltimore and Ohio railroad with near 10,000 men, making the total of Fremont
's movable column some 15,000.1 McDowell
with 30,000 men had drawn away from the upper Rappahannock
and was concentrating at Fredericksburg
This movement of McDowell
had released Ewell
, and left him free to aid Jackson
, who, with a force of about 16,000 men (including Ewell
and Edward Johnson
), had on his hands the 35,000 under Banks
The Warm Springs turnpike
a ready mode of uniting with Milroy
, in which case Staunton
would be an easy capture.
was already preparing to move in that direction.
determined to anticipate such a movement if possible, by uniting his own force to that of Johnson
, and falling upon Milroy
Then he would join Ewell
, and with all his strength attack Banks
To accomplish this Ewell
was ordered to cross the mountain and occupy the position Jackson
had held for ten days at Swift Run Gap, thus keeping up the menace of Banks
left camp on the 30th of April, and marched up the east bank of the Shenandoah
to Port Republic
No participant in that march can ever forget the incessant rain, the fearful mud, the frequent quicksands which made progress so slow and