ere destroyed to prevent capture.
Finding that the enemy had again sought safety behind his defences, Early determined to re-enter Maryland, for the double purpose of covering a retaliatory expedition into Pennsylvania, and to keep alive the diversion which had already been made in favor of the defence of Richmond.
Therefore, about the 6th August, he crossed the Potomac in two columns — the one at Williamsport, and the other at Shepherdstown — and took a position between Sharpsburg and Hagerstown.
This occupation of Maryland was destined to be of short duration, for since Early's audacity had caused his strength to be so greatly magnified, and the importance of his operations so exaggerated, Grant had considered it necessary to largely increase the Army of the Shenandoah, and to supersede Hunter, whose incapacity had long been obvious, by Phil. Sheridan, one of the most energetic and unscrupulous of his Lieutenants.
Being aware of the great increase of force prepared to be brou