within supporting distance, he begins on May 13 to retrace his steps, marching through Harrisonburg
, New Market
joining him on the road and swelling his force to 16,000 men, and on May 23 suddenly appears at Front Royal
(distant, by his route, nearly one hundred and twenty miles from Franklin
), and surprises and completely overwhelms the force Banks
has stationed there.
Next day he strikes with damaging effect at Banks
' retreating column, between Strasburg
, and follows him up) all night.
At dawn he attacks him on the heights of Winchester
, forces him from his position and drives him in confusion and dismay to the Potomac
with the loss of immense stores and a large number of prisoners.
Resting but two days, he marches to Harper's Ferry
, threatens an invasion of Maryland
and spreads such alarm as to paralyze the movements of McDowell
's 40,000 men at Fredericksburg
, and to cause the concentration of half of this force, together with Fremont
's command, on his rear.
The militia of the adjoining States is called out; troops are hurried to Harper's Ferry
in his front; more than 40,000 troops are hastening under the most urgent telegrams to close in around him. Keeping up his demonstrations until the last moment — until, indeed, the head of McDowwell
's column was but twelve or fourteen miles from his line of retreat, at a point nearly fifty miles in his rear — he, by a forced march of a day and a half, traverses this distance of fifty miles and places himself at Strasburg
Here he keeps Fremont
at bay until his long line of prisoners and captured stores has passed through in safety and his rear guard closed up. Then he falls back before Fremont
, while by burning successively the bridges over the main fork of the Shenandoah
he destroys all co-operation between his pursuers.
Having retreated as far as necessary, he turns off from Harrisonhurg to Port Republic
, seizes the only bridge left south of Front Royal
over the Shenandoah
, and takes a position which enables him to fight his adversaries in succession, while they cannot succor each other.
first attacks and is severely repulsed, and next morning Jackson
, withdrawing suddenly from his front and destroying the bridge to prevent his following, attacks the advance brigades of Shields
and completely defeats them, driving them eight or ten miles from the battlefield.
A week of rest, and Jackson
, having disposed of his various enemies, and effected the permanent withdrawal of McDowell
's corps from the forces operating against Richmond
, is again on the march, and while Banks
are disposing their broken