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[216] as many, as he retired up the Valley, after evacuating Winchester on the 11th of March.

Banks' advance occupied Charlestown, 22 miles from Winchester, February 26th; the advance of his right, marching from Bunker Hill, appeared at Stephenson's, four miles in front of Winchester, March 6th, when Jackson promptly formed line in front of his fortifications and offered battle; but the Federals as promptly fell back. On the 11th Banks cautiously advanced his left to Berryville, 10 miles east of Winchester, by a good stone road. Jackson again drew up his little army, in front of Winchester, covering the three roads by which Banks was advancing his whole army, and all day awaited an attack from the large force that came to within four miles of his position. When this did not come on to combat, he, late in the day, reluctantly followed his trains to the vicinity of Newtown, after having called a council of war (the first and the last he ever called), consisting of General Garnett and his regimental commanders, in Winchester, after dark, to which he proposed that they should make an attack on Banks' advance, at Stephenson's, before daylight the next morning. The council, as yet ignorant of the manner of man that counseled, rejected his proposal. He doubtless would have carried out his plans regardless of this conclusion if he had not then learned that, without orders, his army was already five miles away from Winchester; too far to recall them for a night march and attack. He later followed his army and bivouacked. in its rear, with ‘Little Sorrel,’ in a fence comer. The next day he marched to Strasburg, 18 miles from Winchester, where he halted until the 15th. Banks occupied Winchester the 12th, but Ashby, with his cavalry, many of them bold riders reared in the lower valley, kept him so occupied in protecting the rear and flanks of his army as well as its front, that he did not follow after Jackson until the 18th, when he started Shields' division in pursuit. This reached Strasburg, the sally-port of the western middle section of the Valley, the next day, when Jackson, leaving the gateway open, with Ashby as its sentinel, again fell back, first to Woodstock, 12 miles, and then to Mt. Jackson, 24 miles from Strasburg.

On the 16th of March, McClellan, convinced that his grand movement on Jackson, by which he had so easily secured control of the lower Valley, would enable him to

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