and an investment of the place.
The large bodies of troops which the Federal Administration
was hastening from every direction to over whelm him were already closing in.
, with 20,000 men, was hurrying towards Front Royal
, and Fremont
, now awake to the fact that his enemy had pushed him back into the mountains, and then slipped away to destroy his colleague, was moving with his 14,000 or 15,000 men towards Strasburg
had 7,000 Federal troops1
at Harper's Ferry
, and Banks
was taking breath with the remnant of his command (some 3,000 or 4,000 men) at Williamsport, Maryland
Thus over 40,000 men were gathering to crush Jackson
, whose strength was now not over 15,000.
On the morning of May 30th he began his retreat, by ordering all his troops except Winder
's brigade, Bradley Johnson
's Maryland regiment and the cavalry, to fall back to Winchester
Nor was he an hour too soon, for .before he reached that town McDowell
's advance had poured over the Blue Ridge
, driven out the small guard left at Front Royal
and ,captured the village.
The condition of affairs when Jackson
on the evening of May 30th, was as follows: the Federals
were in possession of Front Royal
, which is but twelve miles from Strasburg
, while Winchester
is eighteen.2 Fremont
was at Wardensville
, distant twenty miles from Strasburg
, and had telegraphed President Lincoln
that he would enter the latter place by 5 P. M. on the next day.3
The mass of Jackson
's forces had marched twenty-five miles to reach Winchester
, and his rear guard, under Winder
(after *skirmishing with the enemy at Harper's Ferry
for part of the day), had camped at Halltown
which is over forty miles distant from Strasburg
The next day, Saturday, May 31st, witnessed a race for Strasburg
, which was in Jackson
's direct line of retreat, but it was very different in character from the race of the preceding Saturday
Orders were issued for everything in the Confederate
camp to move early in the morning.
The 2,300 Federal prisoners were first sent forward, guarded by the Twenty-first Virginia regiment; next the long trains, including many captured wagons loaded with stores; then followed the whole of the army, except the rear guard under Winder