No. 6. Reports Major General Thomas J. Jackson, C. S. Army, commanding the Valley District, including operations since the battle of Kernstown.
VALLEY DISTRICT, VA., May 9, 1862.
Via Staunton, Va., May 10, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
God blessed our arms with victory at McDowell yesterday.
T. J. JACKSON,
HDQRS. SECOND CORPS, ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
March 7, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to submit to you a report of the operations of my command in the battle of McDowell, Highland County, Virginia, on May 8:
After the battle of Kernstown I retreated in the direction of Harrisonburg. My rear guard-comprising Ashby's cavalry, Captain Chew's battery, and from time to time other forces-was placed under the direction of Colonel Turner Ashby, an officer whose judgment, coolness, and courage eminently qualified him for the delicate and important trust Although pursued by a greatly superior force, under General Banks, we were enabled to halt for more than a fortnight in the vicinity of Mount Jackson.
After reaching Harrisonburg we turned toward the Blue Ridge, and on April 19 crossed the South Fork of the Shenandoah, and took position between that river and Swift Run Gap, in Elk Run Valley.
General R. S. Ewell, having been directed to join my command, left the vicinity of Gordonsville, and on the 30th arrived with his division west of the Blue Ridge.
The main body of General Banks' pursuing army did not proceed farther south than the vicinity of Harrisonburg; but a considerable force, under my command of General Milroy, was moving toward Staunton from the direction of Mounterey, and, as I satisfactorily learned, part of it had already crossed to the east of the Shenandoah Mountain, and was encamped not far from the Harrisonburg and Warm Springs turnpike. The positions of these two Federal armies were now such that if left unmolested they could readily form a junction on the road just named and move with their united forces against Staunton.
At this time Brigadier General Edward Johnson, with his troops, was near Buffalo Gap, west of Staunton, so that, if the enemy was allowed to effect a junction, it would probably be followed not only by the seizure of a point so important as Staunton, but must compel General Johnson to abandon his position, and he might succeed in getting between us. To avoid these results I determined, if practicable, after strengthening my own division by a union with Johnson's first to strike at Milroy and then to concentrate the forces of Ewell and Johnson with my own against Banks.
To carry out my design against Milroy General Ewell was directed to march his division to the position which I then occupied, in the Elk Run Valley, with a view to holding Banks in check, while I pushed on with my division to Staunton. These movements were made.