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[240] possible toward Winchester, making vigorous efforts to ward off the Confederate attacks; constantly strengthening his rear guard and right flank for that purpose, ordering back, among others, a New York and a Massachusetts regiment, under the brave Col. George Gordon, an intimate classmate of Jackson at West Point, with two sections of artillery, from Bartonsville to Newtown. Gordon checked the confusion in the rear and boldly drove back the Confederate advance, aided by the considerable cavalry force that General Hatch brought around the Confederate left to his assistance. Apprised of the near presence of Ewell on his right flank and that the Federal infantry cut off at Strasburg had escaped Gordon fell back from Newtown at dusk, steadily resisting Jackson's pursuit, burning loaded commissary wagons and a pontoon train in and beyond Newtown, and reaching Winchester about midnight, leaving the Second Massachusetts infantry as a rear guard. With this Jackson, with regiment after regiment of the Stonewall brigade, contended during all the night, its leader, Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, taking advantage of the darkness and of the stone fences along the turnpike, hotly and courageously disputed every mile of the way with Jackson's advance, led by that indomitable leader in person, who was anxious to occupy the heights overlooking Winchester before dawn of the next day. Ewell, keeping even pace with Jackson's movements, but rather in advance of them, brought his command, on the Front Royal road, to within two or three miles of Winchester, then bivouacked along that road, thus preventing any retreat of Banks to the eastward. Steuart's cavalry moved still farther to the right and occupied the roads leading to Millwood and Berryville from Winchester.

Banks was in a state of uncertainty, until he reached Winchester, as to what had actually happened to him; but soon learning that all of his detachments had been routed and that a large force was pressing after his main column, he became satisfied that Jackson was upon him with overwhelming numbers; and although the day before he had concluded that his safety lay ‘in a foot race,’ he decided, on the morning of May 25th, that he would stand an attack ‘to test the substance and strength of the enemy by actual collision.’ He had at Winchester about 6,400 men for duty, including infantry,

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