on the afternoon of the 22d, the greater part after a march of twenty-two miles. Meantime Ashby
was following close behind the retreating enemy, and late in the afternoon of the 22d, as Jackson
was entering Strasburg
was attacking the Federal
pickets one mile south of Winchester
After the skirmish, Ashby
camped for the night at Kernstown
, three miles south of Winchester
, who commanded the troops Ashby
had attacked, and who was himself wounded in the skirmish, had displayed but a small part of his force, and this fact, combined with information gotten within the Federal
lines, misled the Confederates
The last of Williams
' division of Banks
' corps had left on the morning of the 22d for Manassas
, but Shields
' division of three brigades still remained.
The reports brought out led Ashby
to believe that all but one brigade had gone, and that it expected to leave for Harper's Ferry
the next day.1
This information, transmitted to Jackson
, caused the latter to push on with all haste the next morning.
At daylight he sent three companies of infantry to reinforce Ashby
and followed with his whole force.
He reached Kernstown
at 2 P. M., after a march of fourteen miles.2
had made his dispositions to meet attack, by advancing Kimball
's brigade of four regiments and Daum
's artillery to the vicinity of Kernstown
's brigade of four regiments was posted in rear of Kimball
, and Tyler
's brigade of five regiments, with Broadhead
's cavalry, was held in reserve.
kept up an active skirmish with the advance of Shields
' force durng the forenoon.
But though thus making ready, the Federal
generals did not expect an attack in earnest.
says he had the country in front and flank carefully reconnoitred during the forenoon of the 23d of March, and the officer in charge reported “no indications of any hostile force except that of Ashby
continues: “I communicated this information to Major-General Banks
, who was then with me, and after consulting together, we both concluded that Jackson
could not be tempted to hazard himself so far away from his main support.
Having both core to this conclusion, General Banks
took his departure for Washington
, being already under orders to that effect.
The officers of his staff, however, remained behind, intending to leave for Centreville
in the afternoon.”