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Too slow for Jackson.

In referring to what transpired at Front Royal, General Jackson, in his official report, says: ‘But in the meantime, Wheat's Battalion, Major Wheat, and the First Maryland Regiment, Colonel Bradley [133] T. Johnson, advanced more directly, driving in their skirmishers, the Federals retreating across both forks of the Shenandoah.’

The cavalry, having accomplished the mission upon which it had been sent, moved on in the direction of Front Royal. Upon reaching the bridge crossing the North Fork, we found that the enemy had fired it. The fire, however, had been extinguished by our infantry, but not until the flooring on the south side of the bridge had been burned nearly through. By riding slowly, in single file, and bearing as far as possible to the right, we proceeded to cross the bridge. This was slow work, and too slow for General Jackson, who as soon as four companies had crossed, ordered Colonel Flournoy in pursuit of the enemy with those four companies.

Colonel Flournoy promptly obeyed, and started rapidly up the turnpike towards Winchester with his small force (not exceeding, if equalling, 200 men), the companies being in the following order: Company E, of Halifax, Captain C. E. Flournoy; Company B, of Rappahannock, Captain Daniel Grimsley; Company K, of Loudoun, Captain George A. Baxter; and Company A, also of Loudoun, Captain R. H. Dulany.

Being in the front section of fours of our company, I was a witness to the following rather amusing incident: We were proceeding in a rapid trot, Captain Baxter being immediately in front of my section. Just in front of the latter rode two soldiers who did not seem to be connected with the company next in front. The elder wore a dingy gray coat and an old military cap, pulled well forward, and rode a raw-bone sorrel horse, while on his right rode a youth who seemed to be more neatly dressed than the other. True the old sorrel and his companion ambled along at a good gait, but not fast enough for the ardent and impatient spirit of Baxter, who, in no very choice language, peremptorily commanded them to ‘get out of the way of my (his) men.’ The younger of the two turned to Baxter and, with a motion towards his companion, said: ‘This is General Jackson.’ This was like a thunder-bolt to Baxter and the rest of us, as we were not then as familiar with General Jackson's appearance as we became afterwards during his Valley Campaign and as couriers for him in the winter of 1863-‘64. As soon as he recovered his breath, Baxter, waving his hat around his head, led us in ‘three cheers for General Jackson,’ given in genuine Confederate style. General Jackson immediately wheeled his horse, and ordered Captain Baxter to take his company and Company A and form his squadron and charge on the right of the turnpike; Company E was ordered [134] to the left of the turnpike, while Company B was ordered to charge in the turnpike.


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Loudoun (Virginia, United States) (2)
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1863 AD (1)
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