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[28] needed were to advance. This was on Friday, and the supply trains were waiting at Harper's Ferry for forage. Grant asked if the teams could be brought up in time for an attack on the following Tuesday; and Sheridan replied that he could be ready before daylight on Monday. Grant gave him the orders, and felt so confident of the result, that he left the front, and went to New Jersey, to put his children at school.1

On the 17th of September, Early, with inexcusable folly, still further divided his command. Though weakened already by the loss of Anderson, he marched with two divisions of infantry and a large force of cavalry, to Martinsburg, twenty-two miles away, to do what damage he could to the railroad, leaving the remainder of his force in front of Winchester. Sheridan at once detected the blunder of his antagonist, and instead of moving to Newtown, as he had intended, determined to attack the enemy in detail, fighting first the two divisions left near Winchester, and then the two that had been moved to Martinsburg. Accordingly, on the afternoon of the 18th, his whole army marched from Berryville towards the Opequan. But at Martinsburg Early learned that Grant had been with Sheridan, and anticipating some movement of importance, he at once

1 ‘You may recollect that, when I visited Sheridan at Charlestown, I had a plan of battle with me to give him. But I found him so thoroughly ready to move, so confident of success when he did move, and his plan so thoroughly matured, that I did not let him know this, and gave him no order whatever except the authority to move. . . . I was so pleased that I left, and got as far as possible from the field before the attack, lest the papers might attribute to me what was due to him.’—General Grant to Author, June, 1878.

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