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[243] led cavalry force were at hand to reap the fruits of victory; but, unfortunately, such was not the condition of Jackson's cavalry at that time. Ashby's poorly disciplined cavalry had been diverted and demoralized by the tempting sutlers' and other stores that had been scattered along the Valley turnpike by Banks' retreating army, many of them being unable to resist the temptation to secure many things that they had long been in need of and which, now to be had for the taking, they hastened to appropriate and conceal, thus greatly depleting his command. Ashby himself, with the few faithful men who had remained with him, had ridden to the enemy's right to prevent their retreat by way of Berryville to Harper's Ferry, hoping to capture a part of Banks' force by so doing. This movement delayed him so that he did not reach the Martinsburg road and join Steuart in the pursuit, some 10 or 12 miles beyond Winchester, after Banks had passed that point. Steuart, with the Second and Sixth Virginia cavalry, was under the immediate command of Ewell and led the advance of his movement. When he was ordered by Jackson through one of his aides, to pursue the retreating Federals, he refused to do so until ordered by General Ewell, and so much time was lost and Banks had made considerable distance in his rapid retreat before Steuart took up the pursuit, which accomplished but little except that he captured a large quantity of stores at Martinsburg, 20 miles beyond Winchester, where Banks had halted for an hour or two before he continued his retreat to the Potomac, at Williamsport, which he reached about sundown, after having fought the battle of Winchester and marched 34 miles during daylight of the 25th. The next morning he crossed the Potomac with two-thirds of his previous command in a thoroughly disorganized condition, thankful that he was safe from the blows of his sturdy antagonist.

Jackson's immediate victory was a glorious one, even if he had not accomplished all that his ardent desires and unconquerable energy thought desirable. In two days he had driven his enemy, that in fancied security dreamed he had permanent possession of the lower valley of the Shenandoah, nearly 60 miles from Front Royal and Strasburg to the Potomac, and freed the valley of his presence. He had captured immense military stores of

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N. P. Banks (5)
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