||After recrossing the Potomac River at Williamsport, Lee’s army withdrew up the Shenandoah Valley. Meade crossed the
Potomac River east of the Blue Ridge and followed Lee into Virginia. On July 23, Meade ordered the III Corps, under Maj. Gen.
William. H. French to cut off the retreating Confederate columns at Front Royal by forcing passage through Manassas Gap. At first
light, French began slowly pushing Walker’s Confederate brigade (Anderson’s division) back into the gap. About 4:30 pm, a strong
Union attack drove Walker’s men until they were reinforced by Rodes’s division and artillery. By dusk, the poorly coordinated Union
attacks were abandoned. During the night, Confederate forces withdrew into the Luray Valley. On July 24, the Union army occupied
Front Royal, but Lee’s army was safely beyond pursuit.