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[42] was at Strasburg in a state of dangerous security. In fact, less distant from Winchester than Banks, he could occupy that place before him, cut him off from the northern route, and thus compel him to take to the mountain after abandoning his supply-train, his artillery and probably a portion of his troops. The news of the disaster at Front Royal reached Strasburg during the night of the 24th. Banks saw the danger, and as early as two o'clock in the morning his army was on the march in order to outstrip the enemy on the road to Winchester. The train of wagons was placed in front, for it was upon the rear of the column that the attack of Jackson was expected. The cavalry, which was to form the rear-guard, remained at Strasburg until the following day.

Jackson also resumed his march on the morning of the 24th, but the repose he was compelled to allow his worn-out soldiers that night was to make him lose the valuable prize he was so near seizing. The two roads converging upon Winchester from Strasburg and Front Royal form two sides of an equilateral triangle. Banks took the first, Ewell the second; Jackson, with his cavalry and the remainder of his infantry, separated from the latter, and followed cross-roads which enabled him to strike the flank of the enemy's column. Only a few mounted Confederates arrived in time to meet the head of the long train of wagons which led the march of the Federal army. Their appearance threw the train into inexpressible confusion, but they were easily dispersed, and order once more restored, the wagons continued their march, accompanied by the main body of the army, which had been compelled by this panic to pass from the rear to the head of the column. When the whole Confederate cavalry, led by the fiery Ashby and closely followed by Jackson, finally struck the road, it was only able to seize a few of the wagons in the rear of Banks' train. Ashby's soldiers, inured to plunder as much as to fighting by their partisan life, allowed themselves to be detained by this meagre booty, instead of following their chief, who was urging them to the pursuit of the enemy. The instant when a panic, easily engendered, would have been fatal to Banks slipped rapidly by, and Jackson tried in vain to seize once more the lost opportunity by intercepting the Federal cavalry, which

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