Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 40.djvu/167
JACKSON IN 1862. 163
others, within striking distance,, were preparing to co-operate with them, so that he was menaced on every side by bodies of troops, the aggregate of whose effective force was more than three times greater than his own, and was, besides, encumbered with 3,000 prisoners and the vast accumulation of captured stores, which were then in Winchester. But, notwithstanding these embarrassing circumstances, he calmly pursued the even tenor of his way, and with characteristic pertinacity continued to carry out his original plan of keeping the Federal govern- ment in a state of anxious apprehension for the safety of its capital.
Consequently, after having allowed his little army two days' rest, he moved forward from Winchester on Wednesday, May 28th, by way of Summit Point to Charlestown, in the adjoining county of Jefferson, near which place some of the scattered fragments of Bank's army, reinforced with fresh troops from Harper's Ferry, had taken position, who, however, were speedily dislodged and put to flight by the "Stonewall Brigade," under Winder, which was in advance, and which next day pushed on to Halltown, a small hamlet, three miles west of Harper's Ferry, the rest of the Confederate forces following leisurely in the same direction. So that on May 3Oth the most of Jackson's troops were at Halltown, twenty-eight miles beyond Winchester, while the Second Virginia Regiment had been sent across the Shenandoah to occupy Loudoun Heights, on the Virginia side of the Potomac, east of Harper's Ferry.
With this preliminary explanation it will be seen what was the state of affairs with Jackson on Friday, the fifth day after the battle of Wnchester, and to one unacquainted with the genius of the man and with his purpose on this particular occasion, it would appear that he had wasted much precious time in secur- ing the fruits of his victory, and had, likewise, by his last move- ments, placed himself no less needlessly than recklessly in a position from which it would be almost impossible for him to extricate himself. But the objects he had in view were too im- portant to be neglected, notwithstanding the risks he encoun- tered in their accomplishment, and being fully aware of the in- creasing dangers that surrounded him, he not only resolved, but