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[52] Then it appeared that Banks began to have some faint idea of his imminent peril, for he fell back rapidly to Strasburg, a strong position, well fortified. Ewell, on the 17th, passed the Shenandoah for New Market gap, whence on the 21st he marched to the top of Milem's gap, on the Graves road. Jackson, in the meantime, had swept up the Valley to New Market. While Ewell halted here, it was that Jackson is said to have requested “fewer orders and more men.” That at least was the camp story about him. At any rate he there assumed command of Ewell, who retraced his steps to Luray, where he formed a junction with Jackson on the 22d. At this time Brigadier-General Steuart, who had been assigned to the command of the “Maryland line,” reported for duty, and the First Maryland and Baltimore Artillery were assigned to him as composing the Line. The regiment marched over, and thus Colonel Johnson took leave of “Old Blucher,” their first Colonel, under whom they had so long served and to whom they were greatly attached. Through the trials and sufferings incident to a young soldier's career, he had always furnished them the model of the soldier and the officer, and they parted from him with great reluctance, though glad enough to go into the Line. In camp on the 23d, eight miles north of Luray, a number of men who claimed to have been enlisted for twelve months, refused to do duty because their time was up. While they were firm they were at the same time perfectly respectful, and only desired, they said, to have the matter determined by the proper authority. All of the companies enlisted at Richmond had been mustered in for twelve months, and on the 17th of May, the year having expired, Company C, Captain R. C. Smith, had been mustered out and discharges given them by Colonel Johnson.

On the 21st, some twenty men of Companies A and B, who were also twelve months men, enlisted by Colonel Johnson at the Point of Rocks, but who had not reenlisted with the rest of their companies, were also discharged by the Colonel.

These men demanded their discharges also from him. He explained to them that their cases were different, that their muster rolls showed they were regularly enlisted at Harpers Ferry by Lieutenant-Colonel Deas, “for the war;” that those muster rolls had regularly been filed in the War Department, and that the regular bi-monthly muster ever since had also showed they were “for the war,” and that even if they had been deceived, as they alleged, and had signed the muster rolls without understanding them, he had no power to discharge them. Their proper mode of proceeding was to apply through him to the Secretary of War. Many were satisfied at this, but many ran away

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