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[496] compelled it to retreat, followed by Lomax, through and beyond Martinsburg. The infantry returned to Bunker Hill, but the cavalry remained at Darkesville. The next day, leaving the cavalry at Darkesville, the infantry marched back to Stephenson's. It was quiet along the lines on the 12th, but on the 13th the enemy again advanced, by the old Charlestown road, and an artillery duel took place, across the Opequon, lasting most of the day, the Federals withdrawing at night. On the 14th of September General Anderson again marched away, unmolested, from Early's command, with Kershaw's infantry division and Cutshaw's artillery, by way of Front Royal. Early's army remained in camp, near Stephenson's, on the 15th and 16th.

On the afternoon of the 17th, the divisions of Gordon and Rodes, preceded by Jackson's brigade of cavalry, marched to Bunker Hill. On the 18th Gordon advanced to Martinsburg, meeting the enemy's. pickets at Big Spring and driving them through the town, making some captures and burning Baltimore & Ohio railroad bridges, and afterward returning to Bunker Hill, Rodes continuing to Stephenson's.

Capt. L. W. V. Kennon, U. S. A., in a paper criticising Sheridan's campaign, states that while Early was at Martinsburg, at this time:

He learned at the telegraph office that Grant was with Sheridan at Charlestown. Early's movements up to this time had been conducted with conspicuous skill and judgment, although with audacity that bordered on rashness. He states, however, that the events of the last month had satisfied him that the commander opposed to him was ‘without enterprise, and possessed of an excessive caution which amounted to timidity.’ Otherwise he would not have volunteered to make so perilous a move as this one to Martinsburg It is evident that he held a different opinion of Grant, for on learning of his presence in the Valley he ‘expected an early move,’ and at once sent Gordon back to Bunker Hill, with orders to march to Stephenson's depot by sunrise the next morning. Rodes' division was moved the same night to Stephenson's, where, also, Early himself returned.

The appearance of Grant in this part of the theater of war was, in truth, indicative of his urgent desire for speedy action. Early's continued presence in the lower valley was not merely annoying and humiliating, but it was retarding the progress of the campaign in front of Richmond, and was a hindrance of which Grant was very anxious to rid himself.

The battle of Winchester, of September 19th, was opened by an advance of the enemy along the Berryville

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