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On the 21st, Early and Anderson advanced, and on the 22nd, Sheridan fell back as far as Halltown. ‘My position,’ he said, ‘in front of Charlestown at best was a bad one, and so much being dependent on this army, I withdrew . . . and took up a new line in front of Halltown.’ The rebels pressed forward, and on the 25th, seized Shepardstown, on the Potomac, twelve miles above Halltown; upon which Sheridan telegraphed: ‘I will not give up this place, and hope to be able to strike the enemy divided .’ On the 26th, however, the rebels fell back from his front, and returned to their former position. Early had crossed the Potomac once, and notwithstanding his orders, had no desire to try the chances again. This day Grant said to Sheridan: ‘I now think it likely that all troops will be ordered back from the Valley, except what they think the minimum necessary to detain you. . . Yielding 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 ’

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