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Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 11: McDowell. (search)
determined to ascend the eastern or right bank of the Shenandoah river to Port Republic, a village seven miles from Harrisonburg, and then, instead of proceeding direct to Staunton by a road of twenty-five miles, to cross the Blue Ridge into Albemarle County, by Brown's Gap, and go thence to Staunton along the line of the Virginia Central Railroad. This route made three marches; but it completely masked his movement, and mystified both friends and foes; for no one, except the General's chief en difficulties, were equal to any display of these qualities, ever made upon the field of a great victory. The mountain-sides afforded a road-bed so stony, that no floods could soften it; and on Saturday, the army passed over to Whitehall in Albemarle, by a track rough, but firm, cheered by a brilliant sun, and full of confidence and elation. The Sabbath morning dawned upon them clear and soft, in their pleasant bivouacs along the green meadows of Moorman's river; and the General, after ha
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 13: Port Republic. (search)
ern foot of the Blue Ridge, he gained the advantage of a military base parallel to his enemy's line of operations, which enabled him to strike it at right angles, if it were prolonged by further advance into the country. Twice he resorted to this strategy, and each time it arrested the career of the superior army. His march from Swift Run Gap in May had taught him another advantage, belonging to the point which he now selected. A good road led from Port Republic across the mountain into Albemarle by Brown's Gap, offering him a safe outlet in case of disaster, and a means for drawing supplies from that fertile country. Before this road crowns the summit of the Blue Ridge, it passes through a valley, which constitutes the most complete natural fortress in all these mountains. Two arms of the mountain, lofty and ragged as the mother ridge, project from it on the right and left hand, embracing a deep vale of many miles' circuit, watered by a copious mountain stream; and while the mig
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 14: the Richmond campaign. (search)
he entertained them with military courtesy, until their request was answered by the commanding General. He found them full of boasts and arrogance: they said that the answer to their flag was exceedingly unimportant, because Fremont and Shields were about to effect a junction, when they would recover, by force, all they had lost, and teach Jackson a lesson which would cure his audacity. When Colonel Munford received the instructions we have mentioned, he called for Mr. William Gilmer of Albemarle, a gentleman of infinite spirit and humor, who was serving with his young kinsman as an amateur trooper, and gave him his cue. He silently left the village, but presently returned, in very different fashion, as an orderly, with despatches from General Jackson and from Staunton. With an ostentatious clanking of spurs and sabre, he ascended to Colonel Munford's quarters, and knocked in a hurried manner. Come in, said the gallant Colonel. And what answer do you bring, orderly, from General