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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