After suffering a defeat at the Battle of Kernstown, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson withdrew up the Shenandoah Valley to protect the critical logistics center of Staunton. Apprised of a Union thrust toward the town by Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont, Jackson marched. Outside the town of McDowell on May 8, 1862, Jackson engaged brigades led by Brig. Gens. Robert Milroy and Robert Schenck. After a nearly five-hour engagement, the Federals withdrew.