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[189] demonstrations of joy, and supplied us abundantly with food of every description. Ewell continued to lead the advance, which was directed on Front Royal, in order to flank Banks's position at Strausburg. The ubiquitous Ashby had pressed his cavalry close up to Strausburg, and had stretched across the main valley a cordon of pickets, which completely concealed our movements as we pressed on rapidly towards our objective point. I well remember when Jackson first came to the front of our column. Hearing loud cheering in the rear, which came nearer and nearer, we soon saw that it was Stonewall himself, mounted on that old sorrel which we afterwards came to know so well, and galloping along the column with uncovered head. We, too, at once took up the shout, and gave a hearty greeting to the great captain, who had come to lead us to victory, and the mountains echoed and re-echoed with the glad acclaim.

About two o'clock P. M. on Friday, May 23d, our advance (consisting of the First Maryland and Wheat's Louisiana “Tigers,” all under the command of General George H. Steuart) made a dash at the Federal force stationed in Front Royal, which seemed to be taken completely by surprise, but which made a gallant resistance as it was pressed rapidly back over the two forks of the Shenandoah river.

Jackson was always in the forefront — sometimes even in advance of the skirmish line — and manifested the greatest impatience to press forward; at one time directing an aid to “order up every rifled gun and every brigade in the army.”

The stubborn fight between the two First Maryland regiments (the Confederates under Col. Bradley T. Johnson and the Federals under Col. Kenly); the cavalry charge at Cedarville, five miles from Front Royal, in which Col. Flournoy (under the order of Jackson and in his immediate presence), charged with 250 men four times his numbers, and so completely broke and scattered them, that other Confederate forces coming up, about 700 prisoners, two rifled guns, and large quantities of arms, ammunition and stores were captured; the gallant fight of Col. Ashby, at Bucktown, and the complete turning of the position of the enemy at Strausburg, were all results of these rapid movements which I have not space to describe in detail.

We bivouaced that night just beyond the forks of the Shenandoah, while some of the pickets of our division were advanced to within four miles of Winchester.

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