Union forces now occupied Fort Johnson and were moving to capture Staunton. "Stonewall" Jackson, moving with speed and secrecy, had arrived at the foot of Shenandoah Mountain and moved west to defeat Union Generals John C. Fremont and R.H. Milroy at the Battle of McDowell two days later on May 9, 1862.
Major Jedediah Hotchkiss, Jackson's mapmaker, tells how he led an attack on Fort Johnson up the steep slopes below it:
Wednesday, May 7th. The General and part of the staff started very early this morning. After a ride of 25 miles from Staunton to Rodgers' Toll-gate in Ramsey's Draft, where the advance of General Johnson's Men, had fallen on the Federal outpost at that point, killed and wounded several of the enemy, captured stores, etc. The main body of the enemy advance, had retreated up the Shenandoah Mountain but is supposed was still holding our "Fort Johnson" at the pass on the top. The General ordered me to go up the spur of the mountain on our right, preceded by a line of skirmishers, and ascertain whether the enemy had left the top of the mountain, Col. Williamson doing the same thing on the left. We had a hardscrabble up the steep slope of the spur, but finally reached the top only to find the enemy all gone but seeing their rear guard on the top of Shaw's Ridge, the next one beyond us.
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