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[215] ‘Just then,’ Taylor writes, ‘my Creoles started their band on a waltz.’ After a contemplative suck at a lemon —‘Thoughtless fellows for serious work,’ came forth. ‘I expressed a hope that the work would not be less well done because of their gaiety.’

After the victory of McDowell, Jackson had heard Front Royal was alive with Banks' blue coats. Hastening there on the 23d he fell upon one of the Federal detachments, annihilating it. The first attack was made by Bradley Johnson's Marylanders and Wheat's battalion with the remainder of Taylor's brigade supporting. The Federals then taking a stronger position, Wheat charged again in the front, while the Sixth sought their flank. The enemy fled across the river. Two bridges spanned the deep Shenandoah. One wagon bridge was above; some yards lower down was a railway bridge. Taylor was everywhere in the valley—everywhere, as far as he could, galloping at Jackson's side. The sharpest point of danger was always the place of Jackson, watching all things. The Federals, posted on the west bank, were punishing us with murderous discharges. Jackson, as usual, was on his horse, looking thoughtful. Taylor came up, suggesting a crossing on the railway ties. ‘Stonewall’ nodded. At the word, Kelly of the Eighth led his Acadians across the ties under a sharp fire. With some loss, Kelly's first files gained the opposite bank. The moment the Eighth appeared the enemy set fire to combustibles, previously placed on the wagon bridge. This bridge would, if fired, have involved serious delay to the Confederates. Taylor looked up again at the man on horseback—Jackson again nodded. At a new sign, the entire brigade rushed at the bridge and clambered over. The enemy, without halting to save their guns, fled wildly from the bridge toward Winchester.

Next morning Jackson took Taylor's brigade and struck the Federal wagon trains at Middletown. The pike was found full of cavalry, upon which the artillery

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