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‘ [169] should be found that the enemy had moved north of the Potomac in large force, to follow and attack him wherever he goes.’

There was to be some new material for history obtained in the valley,—a change of tactics by and by, quite as novel in its way as that wrought in the heart of Virginia during the previous spring. Sheridan had arrived from the James to assume command of an army, composed of the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps, of the ‘army of West Virginia,’ or Eighth Corps, and the cavalry of Torbert and Wilson, to operate in the region of the Shenandoah. The words of Grant at this time were significant, and indeed savor of prophecy: ‘What we want is prompt and active movements after the enemy, in accordance with the instructions you already have. I feel every confidence that you will do the very best, and will leave you as far as possible to act upon your best judgment, and not embarrass you with orders and instructions.’

Four days we tarried at Halltown, a period of recuperation. On the 10th of August we were marching through Charleston, to the air of ‘Glory, glory, hallelujah!’ How inscrutable are the ways of Providence! The institution against which old John Brown warred was in ruins, a crumbling shell, like the jail yonder whence he was led to execution. A few months more, and the ruins of this social fabric shall be as unsubstantial as those of the old court-house, in which he was condemned.

The Sixth Corps moved through Charlestown to Clifton, occupying the right of the line, the Nineteenth, along the Berryville pike; the Eighth Corps was on the left of the Nineteenth, Lowell's cavalry was upon our right, and Merritt's upon the extreme left of the army. This was a movement which covered the northern passes of the Blue Ridge, through which reinforcements were to come.

There were three fords on the Opequon, in front of the three corps respectively; there was an interval of three fourths of a mile between the right, on the Berryville pike, and the next higher, and the third was one mile south of the second.

These crossings were occupied on the 11th. Early, in the meanwhile, had retreated from Bunker Hill and had taken a position before Winchester, which held the junction of the roads which led respectively from Manassas Gap via Front Royal, and the Millwood pike. His force was in line of battle, but his expected

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