After the capture of Front Royal on May 23, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson chased and harried Union General Nathan Banks along the Shenandoah Valley, seizing supplies and capturing stragglers. At Winchester, Banks resolved to make a stand. Deploying his forces in front of the town, Banks held a strong defensive position with a battery of artillery on hills either side of the Valley Pike. At dawn on 25 May, in heavy fog, Jackson ordered dual assaults along the Front Royal and Valley Pikes. Early on, the Confederates seized a hill on their left flank, and despite heavy casualties from Union snipers, managed to install a battery there and trade fire with the Union cannons. General Taylor’s Louisiana brigade then charged and overwhelmed the Union positions, reinforcing the Confederate position. Banks’s army was soon in headlong retreat, fleeing through the streets of the town, then all the way to the Potomac.
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