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rom the river. Ewell was some four miles distant, near the road leading from Harrisonburg to Port Republic. General Fremont had arrived with his forces in the vicinity of Harrisonburg, and General Shields was moving up the east side of the Shenandoah, and had reached Conrad's Store. Each was about fifteen miles distant from Jackson's position. To prevent a junction, the bridge over the river, near Shields' position, had been destroyed. As the advance of General Shields approached on the 8th, the brigades of Taliaferro and Winder were ordered to occupy positions immediately north of the bridge. The enemy's cavalry, accompanied by artillery, then appeared, and, after directing a few shots toward the bridge, crossed South River, and, dashing into the village, planted one of their pieces at the southern entrance of the bridge. Meantime our batteries were placed in position, and, Taliaferro's brigade having approached the bridge, was ordered to dash across, capture the piece, and o
anced, with spirited skirmishing, more than a mile from his original line, driving the opposing force back to its former position. Ewell, finding no attack on his left was designed by the enemy, advanced and drove in their skirmishers, and at night was in position on ground previously occupied by the foe. This engagement has generally been known as the battle of Cross Keys. As General Shields made no movement to renew the action of the 8th, General Jackson determined to attack him on the 9th. Accordingly, Ewell's forces were moved at an early hour toward Port Republic, and General Trimble was left to hold Fremont in check, or, if hard pressed, to retire across the river and burn the bridge, which subsequently was done, under orders to concentrate against Shields. Meanwhile the enemy had taken position about two miles from Port Republic, their right on the river bank, their left on the slope of the mountain which here threw out a spur, between which and the river was a smooth
ressed directly on to Winchester, while Jackson, turning across to the road from Strasburg, struck the main column of the enemy in flank and drove it routed back to Strasburg. The pursuit was comtinued to Winchester, and the enemy, under their commander in chief, General Banks, fled across the Potomac into Maryland. Two thousand prisoners were taken in the pursuit. General Banks in his report says, There never were more grateful hearts in the same number of men, than when, at mid-day on the 26th, we stood on the opposite shore. When the news of the attack on Front Royal, on May 23d, reached General Geary, charged with the protection of the Manassas Gap Railroad, he immediately moved to Manassas Junction. At the same time, his troops, hearing the most extravagant stories, burned their tents and destroyed a quantity of arms. General Duryea, at Catlett's Station, becoming alarmed on hearing of the withdrawal of Geary, took his three New York regiments, leaving a Pennsylvania one be
ollowed. We had then no defenses on the James River below Drewry's Bluff, about seven miles distant from Richmond. There an earthwork had been constructed and provided with an armament of four guns. Rifle pits had been made in front of the fort, and obstructions had been placed in the river by driving piles and sinking some vessels. The crew of the Virginia, after her destruction, had been sent to this fort, which was then in charge of Commander Farrand, Confederate States Navy. On April 15th the enemy's fleet of five ships of war, among the number their much-vaunted Monitor, took position and opened fire upon the fort between seven and eight o'clock. Our small vessel, the Patrick Henry, was lying above the obstruction, and cooperated with the fort in its defense—the Monitor and the ironclad Galena steamed up to about six hundred yard's distance; the others, wooden vessels were kept at long range. The armor of the flagship Galena was badly injured, and many of the crew kille
efore, the detachments, which had already started for Manassas, were recalled, and additional forces were also sent into the Valley. Nor was this all. McDowell's corps, under orders to join Mc-Clellan, was detained for the defense of the Federal capital. Jackson's bold strategy had effected the object for which his movement was designed, and he slowly retreated to the south bank of the Shenandoah, where he remained undisturbed by the enemy, and had time to recruit his forces, which, by April 28th, amounted to six or seven thousand men. General Banks had advanced and occupied Harrisonburg, about fifteen miles from Jackson's position. Fremont, with a force estimated at fifteen thousand men, was reported to be preparing to join Bank's command. The alarm at Washington had caused McDowell's corps to be withdrawn from the upper Rappahannock to Fredericksburg. Jackson, anxious to take advantage of the then divided condition of the enemy, sent to Richmond for reenforcements, but our c
er been my opinion, that the Army of the Potomac would have taken Richmond had not the corps of General McDowell been separated from it. It is also my opinion that, had the command of General McDowell joined the Army of the Potomac in the month of May, by the way of Hanover Court-House, from Fredericksburg, we would have had Richmond within a week after the junction. Court martial of General McDowell, Washington, December 10, 1862. Let us first inquire what was the size of this army so cgth of which was reported to be 9,514— gives the aggregate present for duty as 105,825, and the total, present and absent, as 156,838. Ibid., p. 337. Two statements of the strength of our army under General J. E. Johnston during the month of May—in which General McClellan testified that he was greatly in need of McDowell's corps—give the following results: first, the official return, May 21, 1862, total effective of all arms, 53,688; subsequently, five brigades were added, and the effecti<
Dowell's corps with him. The count states: The James River, which had been closed until then by the presence of the Virginia, as York River had been by the cannon of Yorktown, was opened by the destruction of that ship, just as York River had been by the evacuation of the Confederate fortress. But it was only open as far as Drury's Bluff; in order to overcome this last obstacle interposed between Richmond and the Federal gunboats, the support of the land forces was necessary. On the 19th of May Commodore Goldsborough had a conference with General McClellan regarding the means to be employed for removing that obstacle. . . . General McClellan, as we have stated above, might have continued to follow the railway line, and preserved his depots at Whitehouse, on the Pamunkey, . . . but he could also now go to reestablish his base of operations on James River, which the Virginia had hitherto prevented him from doing. By crossing the Chickahominy at Bottom's Bridge, and some other for
ive brigades were added, and the effective strength of the army under General Johnston on May 31, 1862, was 62,696. Four Years with General Lee, by Walter H. Taylor, p. 50. I now proceed to inquire what caused the panic at Washington. On May 23d, General Jackson, with whose force that of General Ewell had united, moved with such rapidity as to surprise the enemy, and Ewell, who was in advance, captured most of the troops at Front Royal, and pressed directly on to Winchester, while Jackss were taken in the pursuit. General Banks in his report says, There never were more grateful hearts in the same number of men, than when, at mid-day on the 26th, we stood on the opposite shore. When the news of the attack on Front Royal, on May 23d, reached General Geary, charged with the protection of the Manassas Gap Railroad, he immediately moved to Manassas Junction. At the same time, his troops, hearing the most extravagant stories, burned their tents and destroyed a quantity of arms
nt Royal in charge of some prisoners and captured stores—the latter, however, the garrison before retreating had destroyed. Strasburg being General Jaskson's objective point, he had farther to march to reach that position than either of the columns operating against him. The rapidity of movement which marked General Jackson's operations had given to his command the appellation of foot cavalry; never had they more need to show themselves entitled to the name of Stonewall. On the night of May 31st, by a forced march, General Jackson arrived with the head of his column at Strasburg, and learned that General Fremont's advance was in the immediate vicinity. To gain time for the rest of his army to arrive, General Jackson decided to check Fremont's march by an attack in the morning. This movement was assigned to General Ewell, General Jackson personally giving his attention to preserving his immense trains filled with captured stores. The repulse of Fremont's advance was so easy that
izes the justice of the restraint imposed by the order, as we could not waste time chasing Fremont, for it was reported that General Shields was at Front Royal with troops of a different character from those of Fremont's army, who had been encountered near Strasburg, id est, the corps commanded by General O. O. Howard, and called by both sides the flying Dutchmen. This more formidable command of General Shields therefore required immediate attention. Leaving Strasburg on the evening of June 1st, always intent on preventing a junction of the two armies of the enemy, Jackson continued his march up the Valley. Fremont followed in pursuit, while Shields moved slowly up the Valley via Luray, for the purpose of reaching New Market in advance of Jackson. On the morning of the 5th Jackson reached Harrisonburg, and, passing beyond that town, turned toward the east in the direction of Port Republic. General Ashby had destroyed all the bridges between Front Royal and Port Republic, to prev
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