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[98] Valley pike at short distances from the suburbs. From it the land sinks down a gentle swell of open field and meadow, closely checkered with heavy stone fences. Far to the left of us and off the Valley pike were the fortifications of the enemy vague and dim, and as yet undistinguishable as to size or shape. During the night, Jackson, with his old division and Taylor's Louisianians, had been pressing the retreating enemy down the Valley turnpike. General Ewell ordered Colonel Johnson to deploy as skirmishers on the left of the road, and of the Twenty-First North Carolina, Colonel Kirkland, to watch his left and keep it from being turned, and look out for Jackson on the Valley road. After getting into position and pushing forward a little, the rising sun slowly dissipated the heavy fog which had, till then, masked our movements. Before us lay the town of Winchester in all the quiet of the hour and the day. Far to the left stretched the Yankee lines of battle, glistening in steel. Just in front no signs of an enemy, save a few skirmishers, who tardily retired as the North Carolinians felt their way slowly but surely and steadily forward.

At that moment the splutter of Jackson's skirmishers was heard on the left. Colonel Johnson reported the fact and asked for orders, but then seeing the Twenty-first forming for a charge, he assembled his men and ordered them to the town. North Carolina was to our right about four hundred yards and about a hundred ahead. Down we all went together, making for the line of stone fences, when from one rose a line of blue and steel, and poured a volley into the Twenty-first that shivered it to pieces. Colonel Kirkland went down, badly wounded; the Lieutenant-Colonel was killed, and seventy or eighty men and officers killed and wounded. In the smoke and firing we penetrated the Yankee line, the Colonel intending to attack them in flank and rear while they were engaged in front. But on reaching the centre he found that he had no support. The Twenty-first had been driven back, and there were none of our troops within a mile and a half. He then sent to General Ewell, saying he was ready to attack in flank as soon as a demonstration was made in front. Before him to his right, as the battalion had changed front, and was formed at right angles to the Yankee line of battle, was the line which had driven back the Twenty-first, and behind him was a heavy force then being pressed back towards him by Jackson. There was every appearance of his being caught between the two forces. In that case there was nothing to be done but charge through the smallest, where we ran the risk of being charged by our friends advancing to attack the line we had broken. In this position all that could be done was to await events and orders. After a while, when the smoke had

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Stonewall Jackson (4)
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