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Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 6: first campaign in the Valley. (search)
k of God's favor, and resting upon His aid, with an eminent faith, for all his success and fame. On the 19th of April, two notable events had occurred in Virginia, of which one was the evacuation of the great naval depot in Norfolk Harbor by the Federal authorities, after its partial destruction; and the other was, the desertion of Harper's Ferry. This little village, which events have rendered so famous, is situated on the tongue of land between the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. The former of these is the boundary between Virginia and Maryland. The latter, collecting its tributaries southwest of Harper's Ferry, in the great valley of Virginia, flows northeastward along the western base of the Blue Ridge, until it meets the Potomac where that river forces its passage through this mountain range, to find its way towards the sea. The abundant water-power, the interior position, and its proximity to a plentiful country, had led to its selection by the Federal G
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 7: Manassas. (search)
er, General Johnston commanded the whole column to halt, and an order was read explaining their destination. Our gallant army under General Beauregard, said this order, is now attacked by overwhelming numbers; the commanding general hopes that his troops will step out like men, and make a forced march to save the country. At these nervous words, every countenance brightened with joy, and the army rent the air with their shouts. They hurried forward, often at a double-quick, waded the Shenandoah River, which was waist-deep to the men, ascended the Blue Ridge at Ashby's Gap, and, two hours after midnight, paused for a few hours' rest at the little village of Paris, upon the eastern slope of the mountain. Here General Jackson turned his brigade into an enclosure occupied by a beautiful grove, and the wearied men fell prostrate upon the earth without food. In a little time an officer came to Jackson, reminded him that there were no sentries posted around his bivouac, while the men wer
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 11: McDowell. (search)
reat Valley Turnpike; while General Banks timidly pursued him. From Harrisonburg, he turned aside to tile east, and passing the southern end of the Masanuttin Mountain, which here sinks into the plain, crossed the South, or main Fork of the Shenandoah River, at Conrad's Store, and posted himself in the valley of Elk Run, at the gorge of Swift Run Gap in the Blue Ridge. The highway to Staunton was now seemingly open to General Banks; but he durst not pursue it. This was indeed, one of the most attack on the road. The incessant rains of a late and ungenial spring had rendered all the roads, which were not paved, almost impracticable. After careful explorations, General Jackson 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
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 12: Winchester. (search)
f that name, upon the great Valley Turnpike, and in the midst of a smiling champaign. The force which occupied this Gap, and commanded this village, was, in a sense, master of both valleys. This was the position which Banks deserted without cause, when he detached General Shields to Eastern Virginia. As the traveller proceeds northeast down the county of Page, he enters the county of Warren, lying just where the lesser valley merges itself again in the greater. The north fork of the Shenandoah River, which coasts the western base of the Masanuttin Mountain, turns eastward around its northern end from the neighborhood of Strasbourg, and meets the south fork emerging from the other valley, near Front Royal, the seat of justice of Warren county. The excellent paved road from this village to Winchester leads by a course of eighteen miles, across both branches of the river, just above their union, and through a country of gentle hills, farms, and woodlands, converging towards the great
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 13: Port Republic. (search)
low space was filled with fulminating powder, which was intended to explode by percussion, upon the impact of the ball against the bone of the penetrated body. Thus the fragments of lead would be driven in various and erratic directions through the mangled flesh, baffling the surgeon's probe, and converting the wound into a mortal one. While Jackson sought a season of secure repose for his overtasked men within the mountain cove of Brown's Gap, Fremont made pretence of bridging the Shenandoah River in order to assail him again. The Confederate pickets reported that on the evening of the 9th he was bringing timber to the bank, and on the morning of the 10th he was using it for some structure in the water. But soon after, he seemed to think better of his dangerous position, and disappeared from the neighborhood. Doubtless, he had now learned the true condition of General Shields's army. The Confederate cavalry, under Colonel Munford, crossing the river above Port Republic, pursu
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 18: Fredericksburg. (search)
not enough, the soldiers, seizing the great bars while heated in the middle, bent them around trees, and amused their ingenuity in reducing them to every fantastic use. From the hamlet of Hedgesville, west of Martinsburg, to a point near Harper's Ferry, the track was thus utterly destroyed, for a distance of thirty miles; and after the work was done, Jackson rode deliberately over the whole, to assure himself of its completeness. At the end of the month, the corps moved toward the Shenandoah river and the Blue Ridge, and encamped upon the road from Charlestown to Berryville. The purpose of this change was to watch McClellan, who had now begun to cross the Potomac below Harper's Ferry. The Government at Washington had indicated their discontent with the sluggish movements of this General in many ways, and had urged him to advance into Virginia, and assail the Confederates again, before they could recruit their strength. But he had contented himself with a few reconnoissances of