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‘ [88] all of Rockingham and Shenandoah, and I shall have to rely on Augusta for my supplies, and they are not abundant here. Sheridan's purpose under Grant's orders has been to render the Valley untenable by our troops, by destroying the supplies. . . What shall I do if he sends reinforcements to Grant, or remains in the lower Valley?’

On the 10th of October, the national army resumed its march, the main body crossing to the north side of Cedar Creek, while the Sixth corps moved as far as Front Royal, on its way to rejoin Meade; but after his third defeat, Early did not venture further down the Valley until the 12th. On that day he heard that Sheridan was preparing to send part of his troops to the army of the Potomac, and accordingly the rebel command was advanced as far as Fisher's Hill. In consequence of this movement, however, the Sixth corps was at once recalled, to await the development of Early's new intention.

Grant meanwhile, though deferring to the opinion of Sheridan, so far as to direct the return of the Sixth corps to Meade, had not abandoned his views in regard to the necessity of breaking up the railroads east of the Blue Ridge. On the 11th of October, he said to Halleck: ‘After sending the Sixth corps and one division of cavalry here, I think Sheridan should keep up as advanced a position as possible towards the Virginia Central road, and be prepared to advance on to that road at Gordonsville and Charlottesville at any time the enemy weakens himself sufficiently to admit of it. The cutting of that road and of the canal would ’

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