meanwhile remained at Winchester
, watching closely the advance of Banks
, and doing what was possible to impede it. General Johnston
thus describes the duty assigned to him: “After it had become evident that the Valley
was to be invaded by an army too strong to be encountered by Jackson
's division, that officer was instructed to endeavor to employ the invaders in the Valley
, but without exposing himself to the danger of defeat, by keeping so near the enemy as to keep him from making any considerable detachment to reinforce McClellan
, but not so near that he might be compelled to fight.”
At this time Jackson
's entire force did not amount to 4,000 men exclusive of the remnants of the militia brigades, which were not employed any more in active service.
It consisted of the five regiments of his old brigade, now under Garnett
, of three regiments and one battalion under Burks
, and of two regiments under Fulkerson
He had also five batteries and Ashby
's regiment of cavalry.
had his own division, under Williams
, and Shield s' (late Lander
division, now incorporated in his corps.
Two brigades of Sedgwick
's were also with him3
when he crossed the Potomac
On the 1st of April the strength of Banks
' corps, embracing Shields
, is given by General McClellan
as 23,339, including 3,652 cavalry, excluding
2,100 railroad guards.4
's brigades continued with him in his advance on Winchester
, his entire force was over 25,000.
sent his stores, baggage and sick to the rear, but continued to hold his position at Winchester
to the last moment.
on 26th February, but only reached Stephenson
's, four miles north of Winchester
, on March 7th.
drew up his little force in line of battle to meet him, but the Federals
withdrew without attacking.
The activity of Ashby
, and the boldness with which Jackson
maintained his position, impressed his adversary with greatly exaggerated notions of his strength.
advanced in a cautious and wary manner, refusing to attack, but pushing forward his left wing, so as to threaten Jackson
's flank and rear.
By the 11th of March this movement had gone so far that it was no longer safe for the Confederates
to hold Winchester
remained under arms all day, hoping for an