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[265] Jackson fell back with about 4,500 badly armed and equipped men, before the advance of Banks with his 30,000, as well equipped and supplied as men could possibly be, to the 11th of June, when Fremont and Shields were in full retreat for the lower valley and Jackson was resting near the triple forks of the Shenandoah, the acknowledged hero of one of the most famous campaigns in history.

Regarding his retreat from Winchester in March as a confession of weakness, the Federal government at once ordered the larger part of Banks' force from the Valley to the support of McClellan's columns advancing on Richmond. Marching rapidly from his apparent hiding in retreat, Jackson fell, on the 23d of March, upon the remaining Federal force in the vicinity of Kernstown with 3,500 wearied men, and, though mistaken as to his enemy's numbers, joined issue with Shields' 7,000, and nearly becoming the victor on the battlefield, he compelled the return to the Valley of all the Federals that had left it, and to that extent weakened the Federal army moving toward Richmond and delayed its operations. Falling back from Kernstown, he drew. Banks and his large army, still further reinforced, after him to Harrisonburg, where he disconcerted his pursuer by turning across to the Blue ridge, to a safe position near Swift Run gap, where he reorganized his army; submitted to Lee a plan of campaign for freeing the Valley and the mountains beyond, of three threatening Federal advances; got permission to carry out his designs, if he could do so with the aid of Ewell's division, then across the Blue ridge from his encampment, and with Johnson's brigade, which was holding back Fremont's advance just west of Staunton.

On the last of April, while he was deceiving Banks at Harrisonburg with a demonstration in his front, Ewell crossed to the camps Jackson had evacuated, while he took up his line of march, with his own immediate command, to join Edward Johnson, by a circuitous route, which involved the crossing of the Blue ridge twice, thus deceiving friend and foe alike. Joining Johnson on the 5th of May, he forced back Fremont's advance to McDowell, where he defeated him in battle, on the 8th, and followed after his retreat until it met his main body at Franklin where he left the whole Federal force safely disposed of on the 12th. Marching back to the Valley

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