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[488] by way of Martinsburg, to Hainesville. On the 5th, Breckinridge crossed the Potomac at Williamsport and encamped near St. James college, between Williamsport and Hagerstown. On the 6th, Rodes and Ramseur returned to Virginia, by way of Williamsport, and encamped at Hammond's mill, while Breckinridge recrossed to the Virginia shore opposite Williamsport, by way of Tilghmanton. Some of the Confederate cavalry made a demonstration as far as Hagerstown.

On the 7th of August, the march of the army was continued, through Martinsburg, to the former camps at Bunker Hill and Darkesville. There General Early received information that a large Federal force was being concentrated at Harper's Ferry; and on that day the Middle military division of the United States army, consisting of the Middle department and the departments of Washington, of the Susquehanna and of West Virginia, was constituted, and Maj.-Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, of the United States army, was assigned to its command. Upon that day it is generally considered that the Valley campaign of Early and Sheridan began.

The preceding details as to the marches, encampments and engagements of the army of the Valley District, commanded by General Early, may be thought confusing and uninstructive; but in no other way can so good an idea be given of the boldness and energy, as well as of the strategic and tactic ability of the commander of that army. It is hoped that these details will also show the reader that Early had not only toughened and disciplined his little army, by keeping it constantly employed and in fighting trim, but had, in the best manner possible, impressed upon the authorities at Washington the necessity for bringing from Grant's army a large contingent of veteran troops and placing them in command of a leader of acknowledged ability and forceful activity, if they would protect the capital of the nation from assault, prevent incursions into the rich territory of the adjacent States of Pennsylvania and Maryland, and especially if they would keep open the great line of communication for the transport of supplies and the moving back and forth of armies that the Baltimore & Ohio railroad had proven to be.

It is well for the narrative to pause, to call attention to the fact that the bold movements of Early had not

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