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‘ [236] of the nation against the sudden dash by any large body of the rebel forces.’

On the morning of the 19th, Jackson advanced to the vicinity of Harrisonburg, and on the 20th continued to near New Market, a portion of Ewell's command, which had marched around the southwest end of the Massanutton mountains, joining him on the way while the rest of his division marched down the eastern, or Page valley, to opposite New Market. Ashby, under instructions, demonstrated all along Banks' front, which held the line of Pugh's run with cavalry pickets, below Woodstock, while Jackson proceeded, with urgent expedition to maneuver Banks from his position at Strasburg by capturing his exposed left at Front Royal, and, that turned, reaching his rear somewhere between Strasburg and Winchester. The great Massanutton chain not only screened, but absolutely concealed and protected this movement.

On the 21st, Jackson crossed the Massanuttons by the turnpike leading from New Market to Luray, and being joined on the road by the portion of Ewell's division that had followed down the eastern valley, he, with between 16,000 and 17,000 men and 48 guns, encamped that evening on the South Fork of the Shenandoah. On the 22d, with Ewell in advance, he marched quietly, but rapidly, down the Luray valley and bivouacked his advance within 10 miles of Front Royal.

On Friday morning, May 23d, the cavalry of Ashby and Flournoy, which had preceded the army, crossed the South Fork of the Shenandoah at McCoy's ford, and, following along the eastern foot of the Massanuttons by a road between that mountain and the river, soon reached a fork of the road, where it divided into two bodies, one under Flournoy proceeding down between the rivers to capture the bridges at the fork and prevent a retreat of the Federals at Front Royal toward Winchester, while the other under Ashby, moving farther to the left, was to cut the railroad and telegraph at Buckton, between Front Royal and Strasburg, thus breaking communication between those places and preventing the sending of reinforcements to the latter. In order to flank the enemy's position at Front Royal, concerning which he was well informed through Ashby's local scouts, and prevent a retreat eastward across the Blue ridge, Jackson, when

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