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[150] beset his rear: ‘Ils sont á nous;’ so it seems had Jackson decreed of Shields's men: ‘They belong to us.’ This the whole disposition of his battle clearly discloses. I have described to you the position which Shields had assumed at Lewiston, with his line stretching from the forest to the river. Behind him were a few more smooth and open fields; and then the wilderness closed in to the river, tangled and trackless, overlooking the position of the Federal line in height, and allowing but one narrow track to the rear. It was a true funnel— almost a cul de sac. These then, were Jackson's dispositions. General Richard Taylor, with his Louisiana brigade, accompanied by a battery of artillery, was to plunge into the woods by those tortuous tracks which I have mentioned, to creep through the labyrinths, avoiding all disturbance of the enemy, until he had passed clear beyond his left, was to enfilade his short and crowded line, was to find position for his battery on some commanding hillock at the edge of the copsewood, and was to control the narrow road which offered the only line of retreat. The Stonewall brigade was to amuse the enemy meantime, in front, until these fatal adjustments were made, when the main weight of the army should crowd upon them, and they should be driven back upon the impassible river, hemmed in from their retreat, cannonaded from superior positions, ground, in short, between the upper and nether millstones, dissipated and captured. This was the morning's meal with which Jackson would break his fast. Then, for his afternoon work, he designed to re-occupy his formidable position in front of Fremont upon the north of the river, and either fight and win another battle the same day, or postpone the coup de grace to his second adversary until the next morning, as circumstances might dictate.

Such was the splendid audacity of Jackson's real design. Only a part of it was accomplished; you may infer that only a part of it was feasible, and that the design was too audacious to be all realized. I do not think so; only two trivial circumstances prevented the actual realization of the whole. When the main weight of the Confederate army was thrown against Shields he was crushed (though not captured) in the space of two hours. Again, Fremont had been, on the previous day, so roughly handled by Ewell, with six thousand men, that he did not venture even to feel the Confederate position, guarded really only by a skirmish line, until ten o'clock the next day, and such was his own apprehension of his weakness, that as soon as he learned Shields's disaster definitely, he retreated with haste, even though there was now no bridge by which Jackson might reach him. Why then a


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Shields (8)
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