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[206] or, if this was not granted, that the President would accept his resignation from the army, writing in this connection, ‘With such interference in my command I cannot expect to be of much service in the field.’ General Johnston detained Jackson's letter to Benjamin, which had been sent through him as his immediate commander, and urged Jackson to reconsider it. Governor Letcher, learning of Jackson's resignation before the receipt of a letter from Jackson telling him what he had done and his reasons for it, immediately called on the secretary of war and insisted that no action should be taken. Yielding to the earnest solicitations of the governor and others whom he esteemed, but without withdrawing. from the position he had taken in reference to the interference of the secretary with his command, Jackson consented to the withdrawal of his letter of resignation.

The enemy soon reoccupied the territory Jackson had been ordered to abandon, and he found himself confined to the lower Valley, which he had held previous to the Romney expedition. Loring was ordered to a new command, and the Tennessee, Georgia and Arkansas troops that had been with him were gradually taken away and joined to the other forces constituting Johnston's right wing near Centreville and Manassas, leaving only Virginia troops, those of Garnett's, Burks', and Taliaferro's brigades in the Valley with Jackson. The militia commands, never well organized, were now dwindling away by details and by enlistments in the volunteer regiments.

The Federals reoccupied Romney on the 7th of February, and a little later sent an expedition as far south as Moorefield, bringing off captured cattle. The reconstruction of the railroad was also begun, Carson having fallen back to Bloomery gap, and by the 14th the Baltimore & Ohio railroad was again opened from the west to Hancock, on which day Lander made a bold dash with both infantry and cavalry on the militia stationed at Bloomery, taking them by surprise, and capturing some 75 prisoners, including 17 officers. The militia rallied and checked the Federals until they could get away their train, when they retreated. Ashby drove Lander away from Bloomery gap on the 16th, but the Federals continued to hold the territory they had regained. Warned by these movements, Jackson ceased to give furloughs for

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