with about 47,000 men that had fallen back from Manassas
; Stonewall Jackson
safeguarded the lower Shenandoah valley with some 5,000 in his command; while on the extreme left of the sweep of Lee
's line of defense, Edward Johnson
held the Fort Johnson
pass of the Shenandoah mountain
, on the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike
, with some 3,500 men, the heroes of the Alleghany mountain
's whole muster was only about 75,000 to meet the converging invasion of 200,000 or more fully armed and equipped soldiery.
Aware of the gigantic preparations that had been made for this impending campaign by both the contending nations, for such they undoubtedly were at that time, and of the mighty issues involved, not only all the people of the then United States
and those of the then Confederate States
, but those of all the living historic nations, paused and anxiously awaited the result of the mighty conflict that in the next half year would rage over nearly one-half of the territory of Virginia
and an important portion of Maryland
, and give to Fame's keeping and to History's records, names and deeds the world will not soon forget.
To the general observer, the result of this grand game of war was in the hands of McClellan
, who, for an insignificant victory in the mountains of western Virginia
, over a smaller and badly-generaled force, had been, for months, heralded as the ‘Young Napoleon
He had at his command, counting sea power as well as land power, three times as many men as his antagonist, and behind him, in his nation's reserve, at least five times as many men of military age, saying nothing of the thousands of Europe
's ‘soldiers of fortune’ who were, for a consideration, ready to add, indefinitely, to his numbers.
His people were the most ingenious, energetic and resourceful of any in the world, and could furnish an almost unlimited quantity of supplies, of every kind, that could be called for by the emergencies of war. His government, centralized by the war spirit and backed up by a great and determined nation, had apparently but to command victory in the impending contest, with the odds so much in its favor, to win it. Unfortunately for its cause, its commanding general, while a grand organizer, an able planner of campaigns, and the idol of the great army that he, mainly, had created, was a timid leader, and in