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Chapter 8: winter campaign in the Valley. 1861-62.

The appointment of General Jackson to the command of a separate district under General Joseph E. Johnston, consisting of the Valley of Virginia, was made on October 21st, 1861. On the 4th of November he took leave of his brigade, and set out, in compliance with his orders.from the Commander-in-Chief, for Winchester, by railroad, and reached that place on the same day. On his arrival there, the only forces subject to his orders, in the whole district, were three fragmentary brigades of State militia, under Brigadier-Generals Carson, Weem, and Boggs, and a few companies of irregular cavalry, imperfectly armed, and almost without discipline or experience. The first act of the General was to call out the remaining militia of those brigades from the adjoining counties. The country people responded with alacrity enough to raise the aggregate, after a few weeks, to 3000 men. To the disciplining of this force he addressed himself with all his energies.

A brief description of the country composing his district is necessary to the understanding of the remaining history. The Great Valley extends through much of the States of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and crosses Maryland, at its narrowest part. This district is widest and most fertile just where the Potomac passes through it, from its sources in the main Alleghany range to its outlet into Eastern Virginia at Harper's [253] Ferry. It is bounded on the southeast by the Blue Ridge, which runs, with remarkable continuity, for many hundred miles from northeast to southwest; and on the other side there is a similar parallel range, called the Great North Mountain. The space between the bases of these mountains varies from thirty to fifteen miles in width, but it is by no means filled by a level vale. The intervening country is one of unrivalled picturesqueness, variety, and fertility, whose hills, in some places, sink into gentle swells of the most beautiful arable lands, and, in others, rise into mountains, only inferior to the great ranges which bound the district. Of these mountains, the most considerable is the Masanutthin, or Peaked Mountain, which is itself a range of fifty miles in length, and which, beginning twenty miles southwest of Winchester, runs parallel to the Blue Ridge, including between them, for that distance, a separate valley of the same character. This space is occupied by the populous counties of Page and Warren, and watered by the of the Shenandoah. It is only when the traveller, standing upon some Peak of the Blue Ridge or of the Great North Mountain, looks across to the other boundary, and, ranging his eyes longitudinally, sees the grand barriers extending their parallel faces to a vast distance, and losing themselves in the blue horizon, that he fully comprehends the justness of the name, Valley of Virginia. The romantic hills and dales of the intermediate space are then, by comparison, lost to view, and the whole district presents itself as a gigantic vale. The streams which descend from the abounding ranges of mountains, as well as those which rise between the Great North Mountain and the Alleghanies, pass along and across the valley obliquely, until they gather into sufficient volume to force their way to the ocean, as the Potomac, the James, and the Roanoke. The outlets from the Valley on either Bide are by railroad, or by turnpike roads, which pass through [254] depressions of the mountains, called, in the language of the country, Gaps. The soil is almost uniformly calcareous, and the roads, where they are not paved, of heavy clay. The population at the beginning of the war was dense, industrious, and loyal, the agriculture was skilful, and the whole goodly land teemed with grain, pasturage, horned cattle, swine, sheep, and horses. The manufacturing industry of this region was also prosperous, every county boasting of its numerous mills or furnaces, for the production of woollen cloths, iron wares, and other staple supplies of an agricultural people.

Between the Great North Mountain and the Alleghany is a rugged region, more extensive than the Valley proper, which is sometimes included under that term. It is almost filled with parallel ranges of mountains, which increase in altitude as the traveller proceeds westward, until he crowns the parent ridge itself. But hidden between these chains are a thousand valleys of unrivalled beauty and fertility, peopled with a happy and busy population. The most extensive of these is the far-famed valley of the south branch of the Potomac, which forms the garden of three counties, Pendleton, Hardy, and Hampshire. The wide meadows which line this stream from its source to its mouth are fruitful beyond belief; their prodigal harvests of hay and Indian corn, together with the sweetness of the upland pastures by which they are bordered, make them the paradise of the grazier. As Winchester is the focal point and metropolis for the lower Valley, so Romney, forty miles northwest of it, is the key to the valley of the south branch (of the Potomac) and the capital of the great county of Hampshire. The northwestern turnpike, an admirable, paved road, beginning from the former place, passes through the latter on its way to the Ohio River, and crosses the highways which ascend the valleys of the streams. [255]

All this country, to the Alleghany crest, was included in General Jackson's military district. The frontier, which he was required to guard against the enemy, was the whole line of the Potomac, from Harper's Ferry to its source in the mountain last named, and from that ridge to the place where the troops of General Lee were posted, after their ineffectual attempt upon Northwest Virginia. That commander had been recalled, to be employed in a more important sphere; and his troops were left along the line which he had occupied under the command of Brigadier-Generals Henry Jackson and Loring. The first of these, with a detachment of that army, had, on the 8th of October, repulsed the Federalists with the aid of Colonel Edward Johnson, in a well-fought battle upon the head of the Greenbrier River, in Pochahontas county. But the only fruit of this victory which the Confederates gathered, was an unobstructed retreat to a stronger position, upon the top of the Alleghany mountains: another striking evidence of the soundness of General Jackson's theory concerning the campaign in the Northwest. Yet more surprising proof was furnished a few weeks later. On December 13th, the same gallant little army was attacked in its new position on the Alleghany; and, under Edward Johnson, now Brigadier-General, the result was a brilliant victory over their assailants. As soon as General Jackson heard of it, he again wrote, to urge that this force should be sent to him, and predicted that, if it remained where it was, it would, before long, have no enemy in its front, and find the foe which it had beaten, threatening its communications by the way of the South Branch. This was exactly verified. His advice was rejected; and it was not many weeks until the victorious army was retreating to another position, on the Shenandoah mountain, forty miles to the rear. The explanation was, that the Federalists being in undisturbed possession of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, were [256] able to occupy Hampshire and Hardy, and to threaten thence the communications of the Confederates.

General Jackson had not reached Winchester, before his foresight of these results induced him to urge upon the Government that plan of campaign which was explained in the last chapter. Possessed of the keen appreciation of the value of time in war, he begrudged the loss of every day. On the route to Winchester, he paused at a station, to write to an influential friend in Richmond, asking his aid to further his views; and, through every proper channel, he continued to press them, until events forbade their execution. He proposed the immediate organization of a winter campaign in the Northwest, to be conducted from Winchester, by the way of the railroad and northwestern turnpike. He requested that all the forces of Generals Loring and Johnson should be hurried to him, so as to constitute a body sufficient to sustain itself. If it was suggested that the Federalists might take advantage of their withdrawal, to invade the central parts of the State, by crossing the mountains, his reply was, that it would be so much the worse for them. While they were marching eastward, involving themselves in those interminable obstacles, which had proved so disastrous to our arms there, he would be rapidly pouring his masses westward by railroad and turnpike, would place himself upon their communications, would close behind them, and would make their destruction so much the more certain, the farther they advanced towards their imaginary prize. If the Confederate Government, he argued, delayed its efforts to recover the Northwest, it would then find the Federalists more firmly seated there; the loyalty of the inhabitants would be more corrupted by their blandishments and oppressions; the supplies, which should feed our soldiers, would be consumed by our enemies, and the country too much exhausted to sustain a vigorous campaign from its own resources; [257] fortified posts would be created where none now existed; and, above all, the constant development of the military power of the United States under the management of General McClellan, might occupy all our forces elsewhere.

His representations were so far successful, that about the middle of November, his old Brigade was sent to him, with the Pendleton battery, now under the command of Captain McLaughlin. Early in December, Colonel William B. Taliaferro's brigade from the army of the Northwest, consisting of the 1st Georgia, 3d Arkansas, and 23d and 37th Virginia regiments, reached Winchester. Near the close of December, the last reinforcements arrived from that army, under Brigadier-General Loring, consisting of the brigades of Colonel William Gilham, and Brigadier-General S. R. Anderson. The former of these brigades embraced the 21st, 42d, and 48th regiments of Virginia, and the 1st battalion of State Regulars, with Captain Marye's battery; the latter, the 1st, 7th, and 14th regiments of Tennessee, and Captain Shurmaker's battery. He now, at the end of December, found himself in command of about eleven thousand men, of whom three thousand were militia, while the remainder were the volunteer forces of the Confederacy. But the delay in assembling these was such, as nearly to blast his hopes. He had continued to urge that the command of Brigadier-General Edward Johnson, from the Alleghany, should be sent to him, or else directed to march northward through Hardy and Hampshire counties, to effect a junction with him near Romney; but his advice was not adopted. This subtraction from his expected means, he declared, would be decisive against his cherished plan of penetrating to the Northwest. For, contemplating the repeated failures to which the Confederate cause had been condemned in that quarter by inadequate means, he was determined [258] not to make an attempt without such forces as would make success possible.

Just before General Jackson came to the Valley, Romney was occupied by a Federal force, which was speedily increased to 6000 men. At Williamsport, and neighboring points, were as many more. Beyond Harper's Ferry, General Banks was organizing a force of 26,000 men, for the invasion of the Valley. Before the arrival of General Loring's command, General Jackson had to oppose nearly 40,000 enemies, with only 4000 men, inclusive of his undisciplined militia; yet, if this force was increased to so many as 15,000, he had resolved to attempt the audacious enterprise of clearing away the foes who hung around his own district, and then invading another, occupied by an army as strong as his own.

But his genius taught him that his safety lay in audacity. Winchester is the centre to which great thoroughfares converge, from Harper's Ferry on the northeast, from Martinsburg and Williamsport on the north, and from Romney on the northwest; while another highway from the south branch would place his enemies twenty miles in his rear, at Strasburg. He said that unless Romney and the south branch were held, Winchester was untenable, It was true that his central position gave him the interior line of operations; but, to employ this advantage, it was necessary for him to strike one of his adversaries promptly. If he waited until they approached near enough to co-operate, and to hem him in by their convergent motions, he would have no alternative except precipitate retreat or surrender; hence his burning anxiety to be in motion. His purpose was to assail the Federal General Kelly at Romney, first, so as to secure the western side of his district, as a preliminary, either to his expedition into the Northwest, or, if that were surrendered, to his approaching contest with General Banks. It has already been [259] indicated, that the late arrival of General Loring's brigades, and the refusal of the Government to send General Edward Johnson's, doomed the hopes of General Jackson to disappointment as to the former enterprise. It may be useless to speculate upon the results which he would have attained, if it had been undertaken in good time. He never concealed his belief that the attempt was hazardous; but many would perhaps conclude that it was utterly rash; and, in the latter opinion, it would appear the War Department concurred. The facilities which the Federalists enjoyed for pouring troops and supplies into Northwest Virginia, must ever have rendered its occupation by a Confederate force, an arduous task. Had General Jackson gone thither with 15,000 men, the countless hordes of United States troops, who, a little later, crushed the Confederates at Fort Donelson, in spite of most heroic fighting, might have been directed upon him. If the skill and courage with which he evaded similar dangers in the famous campaign of the ensuing spring were forgotten, the conclusion would be reached, that in such an event his situation in the Northwest would be desperate. But the issue of that campaign has taught the world, that there is no limit to be set to the possibilities which genius, united to generous devotion, may achieve. Success would have turned mainly upon the degree of support which the people of the Northwest would have given to the cause, when rallied under their favorite leader. And these speculations may be most safely dismissed, with a thankful acquiescence in the orderings of Divine providence, which forbade Jackson's making the great experiment, and preserved him for the service of his country on a still more important and glorious field.

About the middle of November, General Jackson, busying himself, while he awaited his reinforcements, in organizing his command, adverted to the condition of his cavalry. This [260] consisted of several companies, raised in his district, which had no regimental formation. He found serving with them Lieut.-Colonel Turner Ashby, and, recognizing in him a kindred spirit, he assigned to him the chief command. From that day to his death this chivalrous officer served his general, as commander of cavalry, with untiring zeal and intelligence. He was a gentleman of Fauquier county, of the best connexions, of spotless and amiable character, devoted to field sports and feats of horsemanship, and known to be as modest and generous as he was brave. At the first outbreak of the war, he had flown to his country's service, had raised a company of cavalry, had assisted at the first capture of Harper's Ferry, and, during the summer campaign of 1861, had distinguished himself by his devotion and vigilance, upon the outposts of the army, below that village. After it ceased to be an important position to the Confederates, he was transferred to the Upper Potomac. There occurred the first of those daring exploits which soon surrounded his name with a halo of romance. A part of his command, under his beloved brother, Captain Richard Ashby, was assailed, in the county of Hampshire, by an overpowering force of Federal cavalry; and, in the retreat which followed, Captain Ashby was overtaken, at an obstruction presented by the railroad track to the career of his horse, and was basely murdered, while prostrate and helpless under his fallen steed. A few moments after, Turner Ashby, attracted by the firing, came up with a handful of fresh horsemen, and the enemy retired. He found his brother mortally wounded and insensible, and, kneeling beside his body, he raised his sword to heaven, and made a sacred vow to consecrate his life afresh to delivering his country from the assassin foe. The assailants had retired to an island in the river, covered with shrubbery and driftwood, and there stood on the defensive, concealed in these hiding-places. Ashby now gathered a dozen [261] men, and, fording the stream under a shower of bullets, dashed among them, slew several men with his own hand, and dispersed or captured the whole party. From the day he paid this first sacrifice to the manes of his murdered brother, he appeared a changed man. More brave he could not be; but while he was, if possible, more kindly, gentle, and generous to his associates than before, there was a new solemnity and earnestness in his devotion to the cause of his country. Ile evidently regarded his life as no longer his own, and contemplated habitually its sacrifice in this war. He was, in his own eyes, as a man already dead to the world. His exposure of his person to danger became utterly reckless, and, wherever death flew thickest, thither he hastened, as though he courted its stroke. Yet his spirit was not that of revenge, but of high Christian consecration. To his enemies, when overpowered, he was still as magnanimously forbearing, as he was terrible in the combat. Henceforward, his activity, daring, and seeming immunity from wounds, filled the Federal soldiers with a species of superstitious dread. At the sound of his well-known yell, and the shout of “Ashby” from his men, they relinquished every thought of resistance, and usually fled without pausing to count the odds in their favor. To General Jackson he was eyes and ears. Ever guarding the outposts of his army with rare discretion, and sleepless vigilance, he detected the incipient movements of the enemy; and his sobriety of mind, which was equal to his daring. secured implicit confidence for his reports.

In December, General Jackson determined to employ his enforced leisure in a local enterprise, which promised much annoyance to the enemy. This was the interruption of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The Potomac not being navigable above Washington city, a great canal had been begun from tidewater below that point, which was carried along the valley of [262] the river, with the proud design of threading its highest tributaries, piercing the Alleghany ridge, and connecting the waters of Chesapeake Bay with those of the Ohio. It was not completed farther than Cumberland, in western Maryland; but this place is within the verge of the great coal-fields of that country, whence the cities of Washington and Baltimore, the furnaces of the military factories at the Federal capital, and many of their war-steamers, were supplied with fuel. Besides, this canal offered the means for the speedy transportation of large masses of troops and supplies. Although the Confederates had interrupted the great railroad, by destroying the bridge at Harper's Ferry, and the whole track to Martinsburg, the Federal authorities had the unobstructed use of it from the Ohio River eastward to Cumberland. The destruction of the canal was therefore needed, to make the interruption complete. This work, ascending the left, or north bank of the Potomac, receives its water from that river, which is raised to a sufficient height to feed it by a series of dams thrown across its channel. The most important of these was the one known as Dam No. 5, built within a sharp curve of the river, concave towards the south, north of the town of Martinsburg. The sluices from above this barrier filled a long level of the canal, and its destruction left it dry, and useless for many miles; while no force would be adequate to rebuild it amidst the ice and freezing floods of winter.

Jackson therefore marched to Martinsburg, December 10th, with a part of his militia, his cavalry, and the Stonewall Brigade, and thence made his dispositions to protect the working party, who were to attempt the task of demolition. It was necessary to guard the whole circuit of the curve upon which the dam was situated, lest the enemy, who were in force on the other bank, should cross behind the detachment. General Jackson, sending the militia to make a diversion towards [263] Williamsport, entered the peninsula, posted the veteran brigade near the work, but behind a hill which protected them from the cannon planted upon the opposite bank, and, by night, he advanced his working party to the brink of the stream. A guard of riflemen occupied a strong mill, whence they could deliver a murderous fire upon any detachment advancing to a near attack upon the workmen, while these speedily shielded themselves from the more distant sharpshooters in the cavities which they excavated in the doomed structure. Although the Federal General, Banks, assembled a large force on the other side, and cannonaded the Confederates, the work was continued from the 17th to the 21st of December, until a great chasm was made, through which the whole current of the river flowed down towards its original level, leaving the canal far above it drained of its waters. The most essential parts of the work were done by the gallant men of Captain Holliday, of the 33d, and Captain Robinson, of the 27th Virginia regiments. These generous fellows volunteered to descend, by night, into the chilling waters, and worked under the enemy's fire, until the task was completed. The amount of fatigue which the men endured, laboring, as they constantly did, waist-deep in water, and in the intense cold of winter, can never be sufficiently appreciated. The only loss, at the hand of the enemy, was that of one man killed, a member of the infantry guard which watched the work, but the effects of such exposure could hardly fail to tell ruinously on the health and lives of many of those who executed the difficult and dangerous task.

General Jackson returned to Winchester on December the 25th, and had the pleasure of meeting there the reinforcements which have been already mentioned, under Brigadier-General Loring. It was settled by the Government, that he should retain command of all the troops which he had brought with him, and be second to General Jackson. The weather wau [264] most propitious for the season, and the roads were still firm. He, therefore, determined to carry out that part of his original scheme, which was still feasible, and to drive the Federalists from the western part of his district. At Bath, the seat of justice for Morgan County, a village forty miles north of Winchester, was a detachment of fifteen hundred Federal soldiers, with two pieces of artillery, who grievously tyrannized over the loyal part of the inhabitants. At the village of Hancock, upon the opposite side of the Potomac, was another detachment. Romney upon the south branch, at a distance of about forty miles, was occupied by a force of the enemy now increased to at least ten thousand, who were fortifying themselves there, and ravaging all the fertile country about them. General Jackson intended to march rapidly upon the detachment at Bath and capture them, next, crossing the Potomac, to disperse the party at Hancock, and then, having cleared his rear, to proceed to Romney. The 1st day of January, 1862, an April sun was shining, and the dust was flying in the roads. The whole army, with the exception of the necessary detachments, began its march for Bath, numbering about 8500 men, with five batteries of artillery, and a few companies of cavalry. But, before the day was ended, a biting northwester began to blow, and this was succeeded by a freezing rain and snow, which sheathed the roads in ice. The hardships of the troops now became most severe. The march was pressed forward notwithstanding the inclement weather; the soldiers were often unable to keep their footing upon the slippery mountain sides; and, along the column, the accidental discharge of muskets frequently announced the fall of their owners. The country was one of the roughest, and the roads selected were the most unfrequented, in order that the movement might be kept a secret. For several nights, the wearied troops bivouacked in the sleet and snow, without tents, rations, or blankets, because [265] the baggage-train was unable to overtake them, and with the recklessness of new soldiers, they had refused, against orders, to carry them. The Stonewall Brigade bore these trials without murmuring, for their beloved General shared them all; but, among the reinforcements, the discontent was excessive, and was openly encouraged by a part of their officers, who pronounced the expedition rash, unreasonable, and out of season. General Jackson was cursed by many of them, for this adventure, and looked on as a maniac, for dragging his command through such a region, and at such a season. Many of the troops, taking countenance from the unsoldierly complaints of their leaders, deserted the ranks under plea of sickness, and returned to Winchester. That town was soon thronged with many hundreds of these pretended invalids, who roamed the streets without control, and taxed the generous hospitality of the citizens. Jackson, nevertheless, pressed on, and the third day, met the enemy's outposts a few miles from Bath. They were speedily driven in, and the army proceeding a little farther, encamped for the night. In the morning, January 4th, General Jackson made his dispositions to surround and capture the enemy. A body of militia had already been detached, to cross the mountain behind the village, and then approach it from the west. The main column was now pushed along the direct road, headed by General Loring, while Colonels Maury and Campbell advanced upon the hill sides, on the left and right respectively, to surround the village. General Jackson complained much of the dilatory movements and repeated halts of the column. It seemed as though the whole day would be consumed in marching a few miles, until at length the wings were impelled forward with more energy, and a detachment of cavalry, headed by Lieut.-Col. Baylor of the General's staff, dashed into the town. At their approach the enemy fled without any resistance, leaving all their stores and camp [266] equipage in the hands of the victors. General Jackson himself entered the place in advance of the skirmishers of the main column; but so sluggish had been their movements, that the enemy was already out of sight. Their escape filled him with chagrin, and he instantly urged the pursuit, along the route by which they had fled.

Bath is situated three miles from the Potomac, from which it is separated by a small mountain-ridge. Two roads lead to the river, one to the nearest railroad station, that of Sir John's Run, and the other to Hancock, which is seated upon the opposite bank. By one of these two routes the Federalists must have escaped, but so dilatory had been the movements of General Loring's command, that even his skirmishers were not in sight of the rear of the fugitives, when they disappeared. It was not immediately apparent, therefore, by which of the roads the main body had gone. General Jackson, accordingly, divided his forces, sending a part of his cavalry, and General Loring's column, towards Hancock; the second Virginia brigade, under Colonel Gilham, and Captain Wingfield's company of cavalry, towards Sir John's Run; and Colonel Rust with his and the 37th Virginia regiments, and two field-pieces, by the western road, towards an important railroad bridge over the Great Capon river. The first of these detachments General Jackson accompanied. It speedily overtook the rear of the enemy, and drove them, with some loss, into Hancock. The General then crowned the southern bank of the river with artillery, and fired a few shots into the town. This was in retaliation for the crime of the Federalists, who had repeatedly shelled the peaceful village of Shepherdstown, on the south bank of the Potomac, when it was not used as a military position by the Confederates, and even when there was not a soldier near it. Jackson declared that they should be taught, such outrages could not be perpetrated [267] with impunity; and he added, that, while he was in command of that district, the lesson was efficacious upon their dastardly natures. The 4th of January was now closed by night, and the troops opposite the town again bivouacked in the snow.

Meantime, the second column, directed towards Sir John's Run, had overtaken a considerable detachment of the enemy; but although the ground offered facilities for turning the position on which they stood at bay, no improvement was made of the opportunity, and the Federalists were allowed to escape unmolested over the river, when they probably joined their comrades at Hancock. The third detachment under Colonel Rust proceeded with more vigor. When near the Capon Bridge, they met a party of Federalists guarding that important structure, with whom they skirmished until night, suffering some loss, and inflicting upon the enemy a more serious one. The next morning, January 5th, having been reinforced by General Loring, they drove away the guard, destroyed the bridge and stationhouses, and pulled down a long tract of the telegraph wires, besides capturing great spoils. Thus, both railroad and telegraph communication between the Federal commander at Romney and General Banks below, was effectually severed. The Confederates could now pursue their designs against the former without molestation from the latter, and beat each of them in detail. Such were the promising results, which seemed to be about to reward the vigorous use of the interior line of movements by Jackson.

But he did not propose to leave the party at Hancock so near his line of communications. On the morning of January 5th, he summoned the place to surrender, and notified the Federal commander, that if he declined to accept this proposal he must remove the non-combatants, as he proposed to cannonade the place in good earnest. The bearer of the summons was the [268] gallant Colonel Ashby. As he was led, blindfold, up the streets, he overheard the Federal soldiers whispering the one to the other, “That is the famous Colonel Ashby;” and soon the suppressed hum of a crowd told him that they were thronging around, to catch a sight of the warrior, whose name had so often carried confusion into their ranks. The Federal commander refused either to evacuate the place, or to remove the females and children, and claimed that, if the cannonade took place, the guilt of shedding their blood would rest upon the Confederates, --a preposterous and impudent pretension, especially when coming from a party which has burned so many peaceful dwellings, and so often shelled unresisting towns without notice. The true motive of the claim was obvious. The Yankee thought that the humanity of General Jackson was so great, it would permit him to skulk safely behind the skirts of the women. But the Confederate General was as clear-sighted and vigorous as he was humane. After the time had elapsed which he had announced in his challenge, he opened a hot cannonade from a score of guns, and speedily drove every Federal soldier out of the town, or into some invisible hiding-place. At the same time, a detachment was busy preparing to construct a bridge across the Potomac, two miles above, that the Confederates might attack them on the Maryland side; but before this work was completed, they received reinforcements so numerous, that General Jackson judged it inexpedient to risk the loss which would be incurred in defeating them, when every man was needed for the attainment of his great object, the deliverance of Romney and the South Branch. Believing, therefore, that the enemy in this quarter were sufficiently chastised to cause them to respect his further movements, and, secure in another line of communication with Winchester, far to, the south of [269] Bath, even if the latter place were re-occupied by them, he determined to move westward without further delay.

Having destroyed all the spoils which he lacked means to remove, he left Hancock on January 7th, and returned to the main Romney highway, reaching a well-known locality called Unger's Store, the same evening. On that day his advanced forces, consisting of a regiment of militia and a section of artillery, had an unfortunate affair with the Federalists at Hanging Rock, fifteen miles from Romney, in which two guns were lost by the Confederates; but the difficulties of the roads and season compelled General Jackson to halt here, to collect and refresh his wearied men, and to prepare the horses of his artillery and baggage-trains for their labors. The roads over the mountain-ranges were now sheeted with firm and smooth ice, upon which the wearied animals could keep no footing. Bruised, and sometimes bleeding from their falls, they had struggled thus far, only dragging the trains a few miles daily, by the most cruel exertions. The order was now given to replace their shoes with new ones, constructed so as to give them a firm foothold upon the ice. In this way the time was consumed until the 13th, when the army resumed the march, and the General, with the advanced infantry, entered Romney on the 14th of January. But on the 10th, the Federal commander had taken the alarm, and retreated precipitately to the northwestern part of Hampshire. The hope of making a brilliant capture of prisoners was again disappointed. The flight of the enemy was only witnessed by two of Ashby's cavalry companies, which were pressing close upon their rear. It was some solace, however, to the conquerors, to find their tents standing, with all their camp equipments, and their magazines filled with valuable military stores, which fell into the hands of the Confederates. This retreat was an emphatic [270] testimony to the dread which the vigor of Jackson already inspired in his enemies. With a force larger than his own, they feared to meet him in a most defensible position, which they had selected and entrenched at their leisure. When he was yet more than a day's march distant, they fled in such panic as to leave behind them the larger part of their equipage!

But cowardice like this was the natural sequel to the barbarities by which they had disgraced the name of soldiers. As soon as the Confederates passed Hanging Rock, they began to see marks of desolation, then new, but now, alas! familiar to their eyes. Nearly every dwelling, mill, and factory, between that place and Romney, was consumed; the tanneries were destroyed, and the unfinished hides slit into ribbons; the roadside was strewed with the carcasses of milk-kine, oxen, and other domestic animals, shot down in mere wantonness. As they came in view of the town, lately smiling in the midst of rural beauty, scarcely anything appeared, by which it could be recognized by its own children, save the everlasting hills which surround it. Gardens, orchards, and out-buildings, with their enclosures, were swept away; the lawns were trampled by cavalry horses into mire; many of the dwellings were converted into stables, and the blinds and wainscot torn down for fuel; and every church, save one, which the Federal commander reserved for the pious uses of his own chaplains, was foully desecrated. And these outrages had no pretext, for the despoilers had found Romney a defenceless town, and had entered it at their leisure, without resistance. Their crimes are detailed here, not because the fate of this once charming village has been peculiar among the towns cursed by Federal occupation. If every such instance, which has been added in the progress of the war, were detailed with a similar truthful particularity, the narrative would only be extended, and marked with a dreary and repulsive monotony. [271] But it is just, that this beginning of sorrows should be fixed in history, for the everlasting infamy of the Federals, and as an example of the never-to-bc-forgotten acts of barbarity which the Southern people have endured at their hands. Let the solemn testimony of Jackson against the perpetrators stand recorded, as long as his great name is revered among men. His official report of the campaign is closed with these words:--“I do not feel at liberty to close this report without alluding to the conduct of the reprobate Federal commanders, who, in Hampshire county, have not only burned valuable mill-property, but also many private houses. Their track from Romney to Hanging Rock, a distance of fifteen miles, was one of desolation. The number of dead animals lying along the roadside, where they had been shot by the enemy, exemplified the spirit of that part of the Northern army.”

On the 16th of January, the whole Confederate army was again assembled near Romney. It was ascertained that the retreating force had gone to the neighborhood of Cumberland, in Maryland, a town on the north side of the Potomac, and opposite to the northwestern border of Hampshire county. Three important railroad bridges required their oversight in that region. One of these crossed Patterson's Creek, near its entrance into the river. A little west of this spot, the railroad, which pursues the southern bank for more than fifty miles, crosses to the other side, and continues upon the northern margin to Cumberland; above which it returns to the soil of Virginia. Two massive and costly bridges span the river at these crossings. By destroying these bridges, communication between the Federalists at Cumberland, and the army of General Banks in the lower Valley, would be more effectually severed. But more than this: since the force which had invaded Hampshire drew its supplies from the west by the railroad, [272] these breaches in its continuity would restrict their future opera tions to the eastward, inasmuch as they would entail upon them, as they advanced, a continually lengthening line of transportation by wagons. On the arrival of the main body of his troops, General Jackson instantly prepared to press onward to New Creek. This stream, flowing northward, enters the Potomac at the western extremity of Hampshire county, and above Cumberland; but in consequence of its situation upon the apex of a great angle of the river, the road which conducts to that town from Romney is much longer than the one leading to the mouth of New Creek. He purposed, therefore, to proceed to the latter spot, and, placing himself above the enemy, to destroy the bridge across the Potomac, above Cumberland, first, thus insulating them from their western base. He selected the Stonewall Brigade, and that of Colonel Taliaferro, from the army of General Loring, to perform this service under his own eye; but when he was ready to march, he discovered that the discontent and disorganization had proceeded so far in the latter brigade, that they were not to be trusted for so responsible a service. With deep mortification and reluctance, he therefore relinquished further aggressive movements, and prepared to defend what he had already won; and this, although less than he believed a more efficient army would have realized for him, was by no means little. In sixteen days, he had driven the enemy out of his whole district, except a few miles which they occupied at its extreme corner; had liberated three counties from their tyranny, securing for the Confederate cause their riches of corn and cattle; had rendered the railroad useless to the enemy for a hundred miles; and had captured stores almost equal to the equipment of an army like his own. On the first day of January, scarcely a man in those counties, loyal to his State, could remain at his home, without danger of persecution or arrest. The dominion [273] of law and peace was now restored to all the citizens. All this had been accomplished with a loss of four men killed, and twenty-eight wounded.

General Jackson now proceeded to place the command of General Loring in winter quarters, near Romney, and to canton Boggs' brigade of militia along the south branch, from that town to Moorefield, with three companies of cavalry for duty upon the outposts. The remainder of the cavalry and militia returned to Bath, or to the Valley, to guard its frontier; and the Stonewall Brigade was placed in winter quarters as a reserve, near Winchester. Having begun these dispositions, General Jackson returned to the latter place on the 24th of January. He was uneasy lest General Banks should initiate some movements in his absence. General Loring was left in command at Romney, with his three brigades, and thirteen pieces of artillery. The militia force upon his left placed him in communication with the army of General Edward Johnson, upon the Alleghany Mountain; for a forced march of three days would have brought those troops to Moorefield. At Winchester, forty miles from Romney, was the Stonewall Brigade, ready to launch itself from its central position upon any point of the circumference which was assailed, and it was to be immediately connected with General Loring's forces by a new line of telegraph. Romney itself offers an exceedingly defensible position. It is situated in the Valley of the south branch, twenty miles from the Potomac, and it could be approached, from the direction of the enemy, only by two roads. Of these, one ascends the valley of the river, and the other crosses the mountain-ridge separating it from the vale of Patterson's Creek by a narrow defile. Both these routes pass through gorges in approaching the town, where the sides are utterly impracticable for artillery, and a regiment might hold a host at bay. East of Romney lies a low mountain, not commanded from any [274] other height, but commanding the town completely, as well as the highway to Winchester. The General who knew how to use these advantages, might reasonably count on defending himself against threefold odds, long enough to receive succor from the latter place. Finally, the loyal farmers of the south branch offered, from their magnificent plantations, abundant supplies for the whole winter; or, if these failed, the way was open, by a drive of twenty-five miles, to the broad fields and teeming granaries of the Great Valley. General Jackson designed that the troops, after the construction of their winter quarters, should at once strengthen their position by entrenchments; and, to this end, he urgently requested that an able engineer should be sent to him.

Upon his return to Winchester, he found the country full of debate and difference concerning his movements. No one presumed to dispute his courage and devotion, and many had perspicacity enough to perceive, in his administration, the promise of a great commander. But the larger number professed to depreciate his capacity, and not a few declared that he was manifestly mad. They said that the man had a personal disregard of danger, a hardihood of temper, and a stubbornness, which made him a good fighter, where he was guided by a wiser head; that he was competent to lead a brigade well on the parade ground, or the battle-field, but had no capacity adequate to the management of a separate command, and an extensive district; that his headstrong and unreasoning zeal, with his restless thirst for distinction, thrust him into enterprises which he lacked discretion to conduct to a prosperous issue, and that it was only good fortune, or the better judgment of his reluctant subordinates, in lagging behind his rash intentions, which saved his army from a catastrophe. His wintry march, with the hardships of his men, exaggerated [275] in every form by the interested falsehoods of the stragglers, was denounced as inhuman. They forgot that the unreasonable period to which the expedition was delayed was the fault of others, and was deplored and condemned by him more than by any one else. They refused to consider that he had shared all the hardships of the freezing sleet, and snowy bivouac, and the cold vigils, with his men, and had endured them cheerfully. They were ignorant of the careful and able arrangements which he had made for their comfort. So anxious was he that every supply for their wants should accompany them, that when his chief commissary was consulting him as to the selection of the rations to be transported behind the army, and proposed to take no rice along, inasmuch as it was a species of food seldom preferred by the troops, he dissented, and ordered several tierces to be carried, saying that his soldiers must lack for nothing which they were accustomed to enjoy, so long as it was practicable to furnish it. He was also charged by his critics with being partial to his old brigade, Jackson's pet lambs, as they were sneeringly called; it was said that he kept them in the rear, while other troops were constantly thrust into danger; and that now, while the command of General Loring was left in mid-winter in an alpine region, almost within the jaws of a powerful enemy, these favored regiments were brought back to the comforts and hospitalities of the town, whereas, in truth, while the forces in Romney were ordered into huts, this brigade was three miles below Winchester, in tents, and under the most rigid discipline. And what would have been the outcry of the objectors had General Jackson left the old brigade with General Loring, and brought away a part of his troops, which had been assured to him by special pledge of the Government? His secrecy, which was absolute as that of the grave, piqued the [276] curiosity and self-importance of these cavillers. But had he condescended to explain, they would not have been able to comprehend his policy. Necessities which were plain in the future to his prophetic eye, they could not see. His far-reaching combinations were beyond their grasp; hence, to their imperfect view, the movements, which are now recognized as the promptings of a profound and original genius, appeared to be the erratic spasms of rashness. And truth requires the statement, that not a few of his subordinates so far forgot the proprieties of their honorable profession, as to echo these criticisms and lend them all their credit. Especially were such persons found among those who had lately come under his command. They were unaccustomed to a military regimen so energetic as his. For while he was, personally, the most modest of men, officially, he was the most exacting of commanders; and his purpose to enforce a thorough performance of duty, and his stern disapprobation of remissness and self-indulgence, were veiled by no affectations of politeness. Hence, those who came to serve near his person, if they were not wholly likeminded with himself, usually underwent, at first, a sort of breaking in, accompanied with no little chafing to restive spirits. The expedition to Romney was, to these officers, just such an apprenticeship to Jackson's method of making war. All this was fully known to him; but while he keenly felt its injustice, he disdained to resent it, or to condescend to any explanation of his policy.

On the 31st of January, he was astounded by the receipt of the following order, by telegraph, from the Secretary of War: --“Our news indicates that a movement is making to cut off General Loring's command; order him back to Winchester immediately.” The explanation was, that a number of officers [277] from that command, as soon as it was ordered into winter quarters, had obtained furloughs and repaired to Richmond, where they busily filled the ears of the public and the Government with complaints of the exposed and hazardous position assigned them, and the rashness and severity of General Jackson's rule. A petition for the recall of the troops was actually signed among them, and the General complained, with justice, that it was not more positively discountenanced by their commander. It filled him with indignation, to see men bearing their country's commission, assigning the presence of danger as the ground of their complaints, as though it were not a soldier's profession to brave danger; and when the withering rejoinder was at hand, that, if indeed the men intrusted to their care were in such peril, then it was no time for a gallant officer to be wasting his days on a furlough, amidst the luxuries and cabals of a far-distant capital. The demand for the recall of the troops, without reference to the commander of the district, directly impugned his vigilance and good judgment. Yet the Secretary of War, misguided by the urgency of the discontented officers, gave the peremptory order, without consultation either with General Jackson, or General Joseph E. Johnston, the Commander-in-Chief of the whole department The injury thus done to the authority and self-respect of both these officers is too obvious to need illustration. Of the personal element of wrong, Jackson seemed to feel little, and he said nothing. But, considering his usefulness in his District at an end under such a mode of administration, he instantly determined to leave it. The reply which he sent to the War department is so good an example of military subordination, and, at the same time, of manly independence, that it should be repeated. [278]

Headquarters, Valley district,
Hon. J. P. Benjamin, January 31st, 1862. Sec. of War.
Sir,--Your order requiring me to direct General Loring to return with his command to Winchester, immediately, has been received, and promptly complied with.

With such interference in my command, I cannot expect to be of much service in the field, and accordingly respectfully request to be ordered to report for duty to the Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, at Lexington; as has been done in the case of other professors. Should this application not be granted, I respectfully request that the President will accept my resignation from the Army.--Respectfully, etc., your obed. serv.,

T. J. Jackson.

This conditional resignation he forwarded through the appointed channel, the Headquarters of his Commander-in-Chief. At the same time, to make one more effort for preventing the injury, he wrote requesting that General Johnston would countermand the order for the retreat. To his adjutant he said, “The Secretary of War stated, in the order requiring General Loring's command to fall back to this place immediately, that he had been informed the command was in danger of being cut off. Such danger, I am well satisfied, does not exist, nor did it, in my opinion, exist at the time the order was given; and I therefore respectfully recommend that the order be countermanded, and that General Loring be required to return with his command to the neighborhood of Romney.” But the Commander-in-Chief, although concurring in his opinions of the campaign, did not think it best to assume the responsibility of giving the order; and all the troops returned to the vicinity of Winchester. General Johnston detained the resignation for a time, and [279] immediately wrote to General Jackson, in terms alike honorable to his own magnanimity, and to the reputation of the latter. Descending from the position of his commander to that of a friend and brother-in-arms, he declared his full approval of his disposition of the forces, and his belief that the order of which he complained was injurious to the country, and to his official rights; yet, expressing an exalted appreciation of his value to the cause, he besought him to waive every personal interest, to hold even his just rights in abeyance, and to sacrifice everything for his native land.

The news of his resignation aroused a vivid excitement in the army, the capital, and the State at large, which showed that, notwithstanding the criicisms of his enemies, he had gained a firm hold upon the affections of his countrymen. Their sympathies were warmly with him against the Government. They were outraged, that the only army which had marched, and which had won anything from the enemy, should be thus arrested. Indeed the decision and dignity of his attitude silenced at once the voices of the fault-finders; and they seemed to concur in the general feeling of the people of his district, which regarded him as their bulwark and deliverer. He was besieged with solicitations from soldiers, citizens, and clergymen, far and near, appealing to his patriotism, to subordinate his sense of injustice to the public good, and assuring him that, with his resignation, the hopes of the people would sink. The Governor of the State, besides writing to urge his continuance in the service, sent a friend of the greatest weight in the Commonwealth to expostulate in person against his intended retirement. To all these General Jackson made the same reply. To the Governor, he had tersely stated the grounds of his decision in the following words:--“The order was given without consulting me; it is abandoning to the enemy what has cost much preparation, [280] expense, and exposure to secure; it is in direct conflict with my military plans; it implies a want of confidence in my capacity to judge when General Loring's troops should fall back; and it is an attempt to control military operations in detail, from the Secretary's desk at a distance.” To his ambassador, he now added, that he had no personal pique to satisfy; for, however he might feel at another time, that he himself was wronged, the hour of his country's extremity was no occasion to weigh private grievances. Neither had he any complaint to lodge against his superior, the Secretary of War; but, presuming that he was a considerate and firm man, he must infer that the order given in this case was an example of his intended system of management. And, then, he was satisfied that he could not hope to serve his country usefully or successfully under such a system. But it was the rule of his life never to hold a position where he could not be useful; his conscience forbade it. He had not sought command because it was sweet to him; he had no ambition to gratify; the soldier's stormy career had no allurements for him; and nothing on earth, save the hope of being useful to his injured country, had ever persuaded him to forego the happiness of a beloved home, and a congenial occupation, for the daily martyrdom of his present cares. Now that this hope was extinguished, he felt that the voice of duty, which alone had driven him out from his happy privacy, not only permitted, but commanded his return to it. It was answered that he should be willing to make sacrifices to serve his country, in her hour of need. “Sacrifices” he exclaimed; “have I not made them? What is my life here but a daily sacrifice? Nor shall I ever withhold sacrifices for my country, where they will avail anything. I intend to serve her, anywhere, in any way in which I am permitted to do it with effect, even if it be as a private soldier. But if this method of making war is to prevail, which [281] they seek to establish in my case, the country is ruined. My duty to her requires that I shall utter my protest against it in the most energetic form in my power; and that is, to resign.” And then, traversing the floor of his chamber with rapid strides, he burst into an impetuous torrent of speech, in which he detailed his comprehensive projects with a Napoleonic fire and breadth of view; his obstacles, created by the reluctance and incompetency of some, with whom he had been required to co-operate; his hardships, and the heroic spirit of his troops; the brilliant success with which Providence had crowned his first steps, and the cruel disappointment which dashed the fruit of all his labors. For a long time he was inexorable; but at last, When he was told that the Governor had, in the name of Virginia, withdrawn his resignation from the files of the War Department, and requested that action should be suspended upon it until an attempt was made to remove his grounds of difficulty, he consented to acquiesce in this arrangement.

In a few days he received the assurance, that it had never been the purpose of the Government to introduce the obnoxious system against which he protested. Accepting this as a sufficient guarantee that his command would not hereafter bQ subjected to such a system of interference, he quietly left his resignation in the hands of the chief magistrate of the State, and resumed his tasks.

In this transaction, General Jackson gained one of his most important victories for the Confederate States. Had the system of encouragement to the insubordination of inferiors, and of interference with the responsibilities of commanders in the field, which was initiated in his case, become established, military success could only have been won by accident. By his firmness, the evil usage was arrested, and a lesson impressed both upon the government and the public opinion of the country, which [282] warrants that it will not soon be revived. Whether he had any expectation of this result, when he demanded a release from the service, it is useless to surmise: if he had, his sound judgment taught him that the way to secure this issue was to seem not to expect it, but to offer an explicit resignation, and to act as though he anticipated nothing else than its certain acceptance.

The one instance in which he betrayed the emotions which were aroused by the affair, has been related. In no other case did he show a shade of feeling, and the grandest impression which the people about him ever received of the greatness of his moral nature, was that made by his demeanor under this trial. He uttered no complaint against his detractors or his superiors, and calmly refused to listen to those who endeavored, in that form, to express their sympathy with his wrong. While he thanked them for their partial estimate of his value to the country, he exhorted them, for his sake, not to relax anything of their own zeal; and he showed the same care and diligence in preparing everything for the advantage of his unknown successor, as though he had expected to continue in permanent command of the district. Concerning the operations of his army he had always been obstinately silent, and repelled inquiry with sternness. It appeared that this reserve was dictated, not by pride or love of power, but by a sense of duty. Now that the concern respected his own interests, he had no secrecy, and invited the most candid expressions of opinion; save that he would not permit any denunciations of those who, as his friends supposed, had sought to injure him. As soon as the affair was terminated, it was banished from his conversation, and he was never again heard to allude to the actors in it, except where he could honestly applaud them. He appeared to be elevated wholly above all the infirmities of passion; and the [283] only human emotion which was apparent, even to his wife, who was then on a visit to him, was the revival of his genial gaiety, at the prospect of their speedy return to their home.

His domestic tastes led him, whenever his duties confined him to the town, to take his meals with the family of a congenial Christian friend. To them there appeared, during these trials, the most beautiful display of Christian temper. His dearest relaxation from the harassing cares of his command, were the caresses of the children, and the prayers of the domestic altar. When he led in the latter, as he was often invited to do, it was with increasing humility and tenderness. A prevalent petition was that they “might grow in gentleness;” and he never spoke of his difficulties, except as a kind discipline, intended for his good, by his Heavenly Father.

The inexpediency of the evacuation of Romney was soon manifested. The ice of January was now replaced by the mud of February; and the deficiency of transportation, with the timid haste of the retreat, caused a loss of tents and military stores, equal to all which had been won in the advance. The enemy immediately assumed the aggressive again, and reoccupied Romney in force. February 12th they seized Moorefield, and on the 14th they surprised and routed the advanced force, composed of a small brigade of militia, stationed at Bloomery Gap, twenty-one miles from Winchester, capturing a number of prisoners. Two days after, Colonel Ashby, with his cavalry, recovered the pass, which the Federalists had left in the keeping of a detachment; but they remained firmly established beyond it, with a force of 12,000 men. The whole valley of the South Branch was now open to their incursions. Good roads led up this stream from Moorefield to its head, far in the rear of General Edward Johnson's position on the Alleghany, which the enemy had found so impregnable in front. The prediction of [284] General Jackson was now verified, and that force, to save its communications, was after a little compelled to retire to the Shenandoah mountain, only twenty-five miles from Staunton, thus surrendering to the inroads of the Federalists the three counties of Pendleton, Highland, and Bath. Winchester was again exposed to the advance of the enemy from four directions.

The difficulties of General Jackson's position were, at the same time, aggravated by a diminution of his force. General Loring having been assigned to a distant field of operations, his command was divided between the Valley and Potomac districts. The brigade of General Anderson, composed of Tennessee troops, was sent, with two regiments from that of Colonel Taliaferro, to Evansport, on General Johnston's extreme right. The brigade of Colonel Gilham, now commanded by the gallant Colonel J. S. Burks, was retained by General Jackson; and was henceforth denominated the 2d Brigade of the Army of the Valley. Two Virginia regiments only, the 23d and 37th, remained to Colonel Taliaferro. These, increased afterwards by the addition of the 10th Virginia, composed the 3d Brigade of the Army of the Valley. The three militia brigades were continually dwindling through defective organization, and before the opening of the active campaign they were dissolved. The conscription law of the Confederate Congress was passed not long after, which released the men over thirty-five years old, and swept the remainder into the regular regiments of the provisional army. When the Tennessee regiments were sent away, February 22d, General Jackson informed the Commander-in-Chief that his position required at least 9,000 men for its defence, threatened as it was by two armies of 12,000 and 36,000 respectively. His effective strength was now reduced to about 6,000; but he still declared that, if the Federalist generals advanced upon him, he should march out and attack the one [285] who approached first. The force on the south branch was now commanded by General Lander, and was concentrated about a locality on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad called Paw Paw, thirty-five miles from Winchester. The importance of the expedition which Jackson had been so anxious to make in January, to destroy the great bridges about Cumberland, was now manifest. This force was able to draw its supplies by railroad from the west, and to bring them unobstructed to the Great Capon Bridge. That work they were rapidly rebuilding, and nothing could be anticipated but that, on its completion, they would break into the valley, in concert with General Banks, from the northeast. The latter commander had been hitherto inactive, but it was known that he had a large force cantoned at Frederick City, Hagerstown, and Williamsport, in Maryland. His first indications were, that he was moving his troops up the northern bank of the Potomac, and effecting a junction with General Lander, by boats constructed at Cumberland and brought down the stream. But this movement, if it was not a feint, was speedily reconsidered. On the 25th of February he crossed at Harper's Ferry with 4000 men, and by the 4th of March had established his Headquarters at Charlestown, seven miles in advance. The remainder of his force was brought over, from time to time, until he, with General Shields, had now collected about 36,000 men at that place, Harper's Ferry and Martinsburg.

A General of less genius than Jackson would have certainly resorted to laborious entrenchments, as an expedient for repairing the inequality of his force. But he constructed no works for the defence of Winchester. To an inquiry of General Hill, he replied, “I am not fortifying; my position can be turned on all sides.” Knowing that, if he enclosed himself in forts, the superior forces of the Federalists would envelop him, he [286] refused to construct works for them to occupy, after his enforced evacuation. He hoped to return upon them some day, and did not desire to have the necessity of reducing his own fortifications. His strategy sympathized always with that of the Douglas, who “preferred rather to hear the lark sing, than the rat squeak.”

General Jackson, perceiving that the Commander-in-Chief would not be able to give him the aid he desired, looked next for co-operation to the force stationed at Leesburg, in Loudoun county, under General D. H. Hill. By providing means of rapid transit across the Shenandoah at Castleman's Ferry, and establishing a telegraph line between Leesburg and Winchester, he proposed to secure a concentration of the two forces by two days march at most. He also advised that General Hill should proceed to the Loudoun heights, in the northwest corner of that county, and station some artillery upon the mountain there overlooking Harper's Ferry, so as to make the ferry across the stream so hazardous, and the village so untenable, as to compel General Banks to relinquish that line of approach. But the duty of guarding his own position forbade General Hill to extend to him the proposed assistance. He therefore busied himself in removing his sick, and his army stores to Mount Jackson, in Shenandoah county, in order to be prepared either for a desperate resistance at Winchester, or for a safe retreat. While he was thus occupied, the winter ended, and the spring campaign opened in good earnest; and, before the summer was over, General Jackson, up to this period comparatively unknown, won for himself a world-wide reputation, by a series of the most brilliant achievements; in which, with a mere handful of troops, he again and again swept thousands of the enemy before him, and, passing swiftly and silently from point to point, burst like a thunderbolt upon the foe, when least expected, and at the decisive hour, [287]

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Cacapon (West Virginia, United States) (1)
Bath County (Virginia, United States) (1)
Baltimore, Md. (Maryland, United States) (1)
Alleghany River (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)
Alleghany Mountains (United States) (1)
Alexandria (Virginia, United States) (1)

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