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Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 7: Manassas. (search)
It was manifest that the command of railroads, by reason of their capacity for the rapid transportation of troops and supplies, must ever be a decisive advantage in campaigns. The general who is compelled to move all his forces and material of war over country roads, by the tedious and expensive agency of teams, in the presence of an adversary who effects his advance on a railroad, must be at his mercy. To hold Manassa's Junction, covered two railroads, of which one led southwestward to Gordonsville, and thence, by two branches, to Charlottesv!ue, and Richmond; and the other led westward, through the Blue Ridge, into the heart of the Great Valley, the granary of the State; but worse, the possession of the Manassa's Gap Railroad by the Federalists uncovered General Johnston's rear to them equally whether he were at Harper's Ferry or at Winchester, and at once required the evacuation of the whole country north of that thoroughfare. For these reasons, the Confederate Government mad
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 9: General view of the campaigns of 1862. (search)
us of a number of important highways. Its possession decided that of the whole interior of the State, and of another avenue, the Central Railroad, leading to Richmond from its western side. As this road, on its way to the capital, passes by Gordonsville, the intersection of the Orange and Alexandria road, on which General Johnston now depended as his sole line of communications, its possession by the Federalists would at once endanger that line, and compel him to seek a position still more interior. Moreover, Eastern Virginia, south of Gordonsville, was the great tobacco-planting region, and consequently, yielded no large supplies for the capital or armies. The great central counties, to which Staunton was the key, were the granary of the Commonwealth. There was, then, little hope that the capital, with the large armies necessary for its defence, when thus insulated from its sources of supply, and open only to the south, would endure a very long investment. Considering these thi
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 11: McDowell. (search)
nted in his front. From his own rear, a good turnpike road led over Swift Run Gap, into Eastern Virginia, and to the Centcal Railroad, forty miles distant, at Gordonsville; thus providing him supplies, a secure line of retreat, and communication with General Ewell in Culpepper. There was, indeed, one grave objection to the moveminchester, or even to the Potomac. The third project was to leave the same dispositions for the defence of the Valley, effect a junction with General Ewell at Gordonsville, and marching thence to Fredericksburg, unite with the forces of Generals Anderson and Field, and attack thie Federal army in that neighborhood. This assault the army protecting Richmond against an assault from the direction of Fredericksburg. General Ewell was accordingly withdrawn from the Rappahannock towards Gordonsville, and then, towards the eastern outlet of Swift Run Gap. He brought with him three brigades, those of Brigadier-Generals R. Taylor, Trimble, and Elzey, with tw
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 12: Winchester. (search)
ell, in his despatches to them, to observe these two injunctions: If General Banks moved his army to McDowell at Fredericksburg, to march immediately by way of Gordonsville, and join General Anderson at some point in front of the former town; or if he remained in the Valley, to fight him there immediately, only avoiding the effusi Edward Johnson was to be left with his six regiments, to hold the Valley against Fremont, as he best might. Two more fine brigades were sent from Richmond to Gordonsville, to assist General Jackson in his movement against Banks; but before a junction was effected with him, they were suddenly ordered back to the neighborhood of Rs of danger, the latter General was finally instructed by the Commander-in-Chief, that it would be necessary for him to move at once from Swift Run Gap towards Gordonsville. But he had just been informed by General Jackson, that he was hastening back, to effect a junction with him near Harrisonburg, and to assail Banks. Mounting
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 13: Port Republic. (search)
eaking into Maryland by Harper's Ferry, and seizing Washington City. Just at this juncture, McClellan had pushed his right wing to a point north of Richmond, at Hanover Court House, and within a single march of McDowell's advanced posts. On the 27th of May, the Confederate General Branch was defeated at that place with loss, and the fruit of this success was the occupation of all the roads, and of the bridges across the waters of the Pamunkey, connecting Richmond with Fredericksburg and Gordonsville, by the Federalists. Had the advice of McClellan been now followed, the result must have been disastrous to General Lee, and might well have been ruinous. The Federal commander urged his Government to send General McDowell, with all the forces near Manassa's, under Sigel and Augur, by the route thus opened to them, to effect an immediate junction with his right wing, to hold permanently these lines of communication between Lee and Jackson, and to complete the investment of Richmond. T
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 14: the Richmond campaign. (search)
with strict injunctions of secrecy, departed by railroad, to hold a preliminary conference with General Lee in Richmond. He directed that an advanced guard of cavalry should precede the army continually, and prohibit all persons, whether citizens or soldiers, from passing before them toward Richmond. A rearguard was to prevent all straggling backward, and when they encamped, all lateral roads were to be guarded, to prevent communication between the army and country. But on reaching Gordonsville, whither the brigade of General Lawton had gone by railroad, he was arrested for a day by a groundless rumor of the approach of the enemy from the Rappahannock. Then, resuming the direction of the troops, he proceeded to a station called Frederickshall, fifty miles from Richmond, where he arrested his march to give the army its Sabbath rest. No General knew better than he, how to employ the transportation of a railroad in combination with the marching of an army. While the burthen trai
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 15: Cedar Run. (search)
om his duress. The former was directed to seize Gordonsville, the point at which the Orange and Central Railrcuted as spies. Jackson was now moved toward Gordonsville, to meet this doughty warrior, who, as he left Ato his tent. On the 19th of July, he reached Gordonsville with his corps, and took quarters in the hospitain conversation. After a few days spent near Gordonsville, he retired southward a few miles into the countriver. This affair occurred ten miles north of Gordonsville. Pope's infantry paused in the county of Culpeps little army; and there Was reason to fear that Gordonsville would be lost, the railroad occupied, and a disa a defensive army guarding the communications at Gordonsville, and the centre of Virginia; for the commanding , and returned unmolested to the neighborhood of Gordonsville, hoping that Pope's evil star might tempt him toapid Ann, and penetrated with it twelve miles of Gordonsville. The troops which came to gspport Jackson did n
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 16: second Manassa's. (search)
trange coincidence; for the historic plains of Manassa's. General Jackson had scarcely returned to his encampment near Gordonsville, when the gathering of the hostile masses in larger volume began. General Lee, convinced that McClellan was incapableines there, until the success of his experiment was verified. On that day, General Longstreet commenced his march for Gordonsville, and the remainder of the troops were moved in the same direction, the division of General D. H. Hill bringing up the s toward Madison, were visible. As soon, therefore, as the troops from Richmond began to arrive, General Jackson left Gordonsville, and on the 15th of August, marched to the eastern base of Clarke's Mountain, where he carefully masked his forces newar as Lee and Jackson. Instead of extending his right so far toward Madison, with the preposterous design of turning Gordonsville, upon the west, he should have directed the head of his column toward the lower course of the Rapid Ann, and perpendic
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 18: Fredericksburg. (search)
Clellan was apparently pursuing the same line of operations which the unlucky Pope had found so difficult. If his purpose was to follow the Orange Railroad to Gordonsville, and thence turn eastward to Richmond, it was beset by the grave inconveniences, that in obliquely approaching the Rapid Ann by this line, he exposed his communications to a fatal side-thrust; and that, at Gordonsville, he must pass around an acute angle, which must present his flank most awkwardly to his adversary. If, forsaking the Orange Railroad, he marched directly southeast, the vast dimensions of his army, and the enormous consumption of supplies by it, would render it a difficul, Averill, was to reach the Central Railroad, ascertain something of the positions and numbers of the Confederates, and break up their line of supplies toward Gordonsville. But General Stuart met him near Kelly's Ford with eight hundred men of the brigade of FitzHugh Lee, and after a stubbornly-contested combat drove him back ac
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 20: death and burial. (search)
he gloomy thunders of the burial-salute; but the true tribute paid to the memory of Jackson was that given by the unprompted homage of the people. No ceremonial could be so honorable to him as the tears which were dropped around his corpse by almost every eye, and the order, and solemn quiet, in which the vast crowds assembled and dispersed. No such homage was ever paid to an American. On Wednesday, the coffin, followed now by the widow and the General's Staff, was carried by way of Gordonsville to Lynchburg. At every station the people with a similar spirit, were assembled in crowds, with offerings of flowers. At Lynchburg the scenes of Richmond were repeated; and the remains were placed upon a barge in the Canal, to be conveyed in that way to Lexington. They reached the village Thursday evening, and were borne by the Cadets to the Military Institute, where they were laid in the Lecture Room, which Jackson had occupied as professor, and guarded during the night by his former