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 they opened a brisk fire from a 12-pound battery by Barbour's house, down in the village of Harper's Ferry, and it being thought inexpedient to answer them with artillery, we were obliged to fall back behind the crest of hills. At dark we returned to our camp, two miles and a half from Charlestown. During the night General Jackson received information from General Johnston at Richmond, that a column from McDowell, at Fredericksburg, under Shields, was pressing up from Culpeper by Front Royal to cut him off. Just before, he had received information that Fremont had left Moorefield in Hardy and was marching on Strasburg. In an instant the concert of action between the two Federal Generals became apparent. With Shields at Front Royal the Luray Valley was closed to him. With Fremont at Strasburg the Valley Pike was shut, and with it his only other sure road of retreat, and these two being only eighteen miles apart supported each other. But the Federal plan was not comprehensive enough. Even had Fremont and Shields joined so as to have put Jackson's fighting through them out of the question, he would have fought them together for awhile to save his train and then suddenly wheeling to the right have crossed into Western Virginia and have beaten them to Harrisonburg by way of Hardy and Franklin.
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