veterans swept through them in pursuit of the retreating Federals.
, cap in hand, dashed to the front, cheering as wildly as the men that followed him, and when cautioned that he was rushing into the midst of the retreating foe, said to the officer who cautioned him, ‘Go back, and tell the whole army to press forward to the Potomac
,’ in utter forgetfulness of the fact that that army had been fighting and marching almost without rest for the past thirty hours.
was not standing idly by while this contest was raging.
He had encamped in the immediate presence of the enemy, and when daylight came, on the 25th, he moved forward, and at 5 a. m. his North Carolinians, under Kirkland
, boldly dashed on Donnelly
's line, stretched across the Front Royal
These met with a hot reception, for the Federals
were posted behind stone fences at right angles to the road, and Kirkland
was forced to retire with a large loss in killed and wounded; but in the meantime Col. B. T. Johnson
, with the First Maryland, moved forward between the Front Royal
road and the Valley turnpike
and turned Donnelly
's right, while the Twenty-first Georgia turned his left, and by an enfilade fire routed him from behind the stone fences.
took a new line, nearer the town, but at Trimble
's suggestion, Ewell
sent the Sixteenth Mississippi and the Fifteenth Alabama, the remainder of Trimble
's brigade, still farther to the right, threatening Donnelly
's flank and rear just as Jackson
's men broke in wild triumph over the Federal
center and right.
These movements caused the entire Federal line to give way and retreat, as rapidly as possible, toward Martinsburg
, between 8 and 9 a. m. Elzey
's brigade shared in the attack by obeying Jackson
's order and following the Valley turnpike
through the town as the enemy gave way on each side.
At first the Federals
fell back in very good order, but they were thrown into confusion in passing through the town, from which they were unable to rally, especially as Jackson
's pursuit with his infantry was quick and vigorous, while his artillery promptly took advantage of favorable positions and shelled the retreating enemy.
Never was there a better opportunity for capturing the remnant of an army and all of its artillery and wagons that had started in retreat, if a well organized and well