I wrote Gen. Halleck with further guidance as to how to handle the situation of Early’s incursion.
CITY POINT, VA., July 18, 1864-12 m.
Major-General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
Before the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps can get to Washington the enemy will have developed his intentions by stopping, if he thinks of returning to Maryland. In that case Hunter should stop at Winchester, keeping his cavalry as far out watching the movements of the enemy as he can. If he has not the force to attack with he should not attack, but move forward only as the enemy moves back, and always be prepared to get north of the Potomac without loss when advanced upon by a superior force. If Louisville is in danger, Governor Morton will send 5,000 or 10,000 at once. Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are always ready to send that number of men. Louisville and Nashville must be well guarded. If the enemy have not gone up the Valley of course Hunter should not go that way. The idea is, he should be between the enemy and Washington, going as far out as he can, never allowing himself to be drawn into an unequal fight south of the Potomac and outside of our defenses.
U. S. GRANT,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 273
O.R., I, xxxvii, part 2, p 374