up the Weldon road seems to be a blow the enemy cannot stand. . . Watch closely, and if you find this theory correct, push with all vigor.
Give the enemy no rest, and if it is possible to follow to the Virginia Central road—follow that far.
On the 26th of August, Lee made his last attempt, at Ream's station, to regain possession of the Weldon road.
Unsuccessful there, and finding his plans frustrated in the Valley, he at once, as Grant had foreseen, directed the return of Anderson.
On the 28th, Grant telegraphed to Sheridan: If you are so situated as to feel the enemy strongly without compromising the safety of your position, I think it advisable to do so. I do not know positively that any troops have yet returned from the Valley, but think you will find the enemy in your immediate front weaker than you are.
Meanwhile, there were rumors that a part of Early's force had been sent west of the Alleghanies, and Grant meant to lose no opportunity.
On the 29th, he ordered Sheridan: