Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Situation Report: McDowell, Virginia May 12, 1862

Soldiers of the Valley and Northwest:
I congratulate you on your recent victory at McDowell. I request you unite with me this morning in the thanksgiving to Almighty God for thus having crowned your arms with success, and in praying that we will continue to lead you on from victory to victory until our independence shall be established, and make us that people whose God is the Lord. The Chaplains will hold Divine Services at 10 o'clock A.M. this day, in their respective regiments.
                                                                                             Maj. Gen T.J. Jackson

Jackson's victory at McDowell drove General John C. Fremont's advance brigades all the way back to Franklin which was 50 miles away.

While Jackson was engaged at McDowell, Ewell was ordered by Jackson to wait in Staunton Va. While in Staunton, Ewell was given word that General Shields was going to leave New Market for Fredericksburg to join up with Irvin McDowell in an attempt to reinforce McClellan on the Peninsula. Ewell had been given word from General Robert E. Lee, who was Jefferson Davis' Military Advisor, to leave the valley and make way to Fredericksburg if Shields leaves. He was also well aware of the fact that "Ol' Jack" had Richard Garnett arrested after the battle of Kernstown for insubordination. Ewell thought it best to wait where he was.

Ewell did however send word to Jackson about Shields movement. Jackson's response was for Ewell to pursue Banks if the Yankees retreated from the valley. General Ewell was in shock. The response made no mention of Shields at all. Ewell was so incensed he told Col. T.T. Munford of the 2nd Virginia Cavalry, "I could crush Shields before night if I could move from here. This man Jackson is certainly a crazy fool, an idiot... Mark my words, if this old fool keeps things up, and Shields joins McDowell, we will all go up at Richmond." He told Col. J.A. Walker of the 13th Virginia Infantry, "I tell you, he [Jackson] is as crazy as a March hare!"

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