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[108]

When, in his retreat, Jackson had gotten safely past Strasburg, the Federal War Department gave up all hope of capturing him, and began to take measures to renew McDowell's advance upon Richmond. One of McDowell's divisions, McCall's, had been held at Fredericksburg, and, about June 6, it had been sent by water to join McClellan upon the Peninsula. On the 8th orders were sent for McDowell himself with Shields's and Ord's divisions to march for Fredericksburg; but before these orders could have any effect there came the news of Jackson's sharp counterstrokes at Cross Keys and Port Republic, which had the purely moral effect of causing the order to be countermanded. It remained countermanded, and McDowell and his two divisions were kept in the valley about Front Royal until June 20. This delay took away his last possible chance to reenforce McClellan before Lee took the offensive. Indeed, the movement to Fredericksburg, resumed about June 20, was stopped on June 26 by the formation of a new army to be commanded by Gen. John Pope. It comprised the entire forces of Fremont, Banks, and McDowell, and was charged with the duty of overcoming the forces under Jackson.

So we may now leave him and his gallant but wearied foot cavalry to enjoy about five days of rest on the banks of the Shenandoah, and take up the story of Lee before Richmond.

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