of infantry and a battery across the Valley turnpike
, well toward Kernstown
, with Sullivan
's brigade in supporting distance, and covered all roads leading to Winchester
from the north, west and south.
's infantry brigade and Broadhead
's cavalry he held in Winchester
On the morning of the 23d, after a careful reconnaissance of the front, it was concluded, as before, that only a small Confederate cavalry force was there, and that Jackson
would not venture so far from his support.
Thus satisfied, Banks
took his departure, under orders, for Washington
, leaving his staff to ride toward Manassas
in the afternoon.
knew that a large body of Banks
' men had left the Valley
and concluded, from Ashby
's reports, that but a small force remained at Winchester
This he determined to attack, with the expectation that by so doing he could recall Banks
' whole army to the Valley
At daybreak, on Sunday, the 23d of March, he sent four companies of infantry to support Ashby
, following these with his whole force.
It was 14 miles from his camp at Strasburg
, a fair day's march, so his advance did not reach Ashby
until about 10 a. m. and his main body until 1 p. m.
's men were much wearied by the long march of 26 miles, that most of them had made in about a day and a half, over a somewhat muddy stone road, so he gave orders to go into bivouac for the night, intending to attack, with rested troops, the next morning.
On a further examination, he found that the position he had taken, about a mile south of Kernstown
, could be seen from Pritchard's hill, about a mile north of Kernstown
, which was occupied by Federal artillery, and that it would be dangerous to delay his attack, now it was known he was present in force, as the enemy might be reinforced during the night; so he decided to give battle as soon as he could arrange to do so.
, with his cavalry and Chew
's battery, had engaged the enemy's attention from early dawn; when Captain Nadenbousch
arrived, at 10 a. m., with his four companies of infantry skirmishers, he again advanced and made a spirited attack.
, commanding the Federal
forces in Shields
' enforced absence, met this by more than a regiment of Ohio
skirmishers, deployed across the Valley turnpike
, flanked by batteries and followed by Sullivan
These forced Ashby