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[91] at Charlestown. Without waiting for reenforcements, he engaged them, and after a short conflict drove them in disorder toward the Potomac. The main column then moved on near to Harper's Ferry, where General Jackson received information that Fremont was moving from the west, and the whole or a part of General McDowell's corps from the east, to make a junction in his rear and thus cut off his retreat. At this time General Jackson's effective force was about fifteen thousand men, much less than either of the two armies which were understood to be marching to form a junction against him. We now know that General McDowell had been ordered to send to the relief of General Banks in the Valley twenty to thirty thousand men. The estimated force of General Fremont when at Harrisonburg was twenty thousand. General Jackson had captured in his campaign down the Valley a very large amount of valuable stores, over nine thousand small arms, two pieces of artillery, many horses, and, besides the wounded and sick, who had been released on parole, was said to have twenty-three hundred prisoners. To secure these, as well as to save his army, it was necessary to retreat beyond the point where his enemies could readily unite. The amount of captured stores and other property which he was anxious to preserve was said to require a wagon-train twelve miles long. This, under the care of a regiment, was sent forward in advance of the army, which promptly retired up the Valley.

On his retreat, General Jackson received information confirmatory of the report of the movements of the enemy, and of the defeat of a small force he had left at Front Royal in charge of some prisoners and captured stores—the latter, however, the garrison before retreating had destroyed. Strasburg being General Jaskson's objective point, he had farther to march to reach that position than either of the columns operating against him. The rapidity of movement which marked General Jackson's operations had given to his command the appellation of ‘foot cavalry’; never had they more need to show themselves entitled to the name of Stonewall.

On the night of May 31st, by a forced march, General Jackson arrived with the head of his column at Strasburg, and learned that General Fremont's advance was in the immediate vicinity. To gain time for the rest of his army to arrive, General Jackson decided to check Fremont's march by an attack in the morning. This movement was assigned to General Ewell, General Jackson personally giving his attention to preserving his immense trains filled with captured stores. The repulse of Fremont's advance was so easy that General Taylor describes it as offering a temptation to go beyond General Jackson's orders and make a serious attack

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