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[38] against eight or nine thousand assailants, a place commanded on every side, and from which he could only extricate himself by passing through a narrow defile. To remain in such a place was to be captured. To leave it in the daytime was to run the risk of being routed. He determined to hold out until evening, and by means of well-directed attacks concealed his weakness from Jackson, who does not appear to have shown on this occasion his habitual coup d'oeil; or it might be that his soldiers were too much fatigued to attempt a serious attack. At nightfall Schenck fell back in good order with his small force upon Franklin. The engagement at McDowell had cost him two hundred and forty-six men, while Jackson lost four hundred and sixty-one; among the wounded were General Johnson and three colonels.

Jackson, after taking possession of Franklin, which Fremont had evacuated to wait for him in the rear of the town, did not go in search of his adversaries in this new position. He contented himself with the important result he had just obtained; for in fact, if the army of the Mountain had suffered but little, it had received such a repulse that it was no longer able to join hands with Banks. It was against the latter that Jackson was now about to turn; and for this purpose he resumed his march rapidly through the valley of Virginia in the direction of Staunton. There he found Ewell, but no longer Banks, who, on being informed of the fight at McDowell, had fallen back from Harrisonburg as far as Strasburg, eighty kilometres lower down the valley.

Before following the two adversaries thither, we must describe the configuration of this singular valley, which has been so often ravaged by the fluctuating fortunes of the war. It extends two hundred kilometres in a straight line from the sources of the Shenandoah, a little below Staunton, to the confluence of this river and the Potomac at Harper's Ferry. Its breadth, between the two chains of hills which enclose it, is everywhere from forty to fifty kilometres. Terminated at the north by the Potomac, which intersects it perpendicularly, it may be said that it is similarly terminated at the south by the James, as this river flows a few kilometres from the sources of the Shenandoah, from which it is separated

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