Watchful Peace begins
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards
The Watchful Peace lasted from the years 2063 to 2460, when Sauron was absent from Dol Guldur.
Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Notes, Note 21
Ever most vigilant was Mithrandir, and he it was that most doubted the darkness in Mirkwood, for ... he feared that it was indeed the first shadow of Sauron returning; and he went to Dol Guldur, and the Sorcerer fled from him, and there was a watchful peace for a long while.
The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
Gandalf goes alone to Dol Guldur in secret, to discover the truth concerning the Sorcerer. But the Sorcerer is aware of him; and being not yet grown to great power, he fears the eyes of Gandalf, and the strength of the Wise, and he deserts Dol Guldur and hides in the East again for a while.
Here begins a time that is called the Watchful Peace. For there was a long quiet, but no certainty. During that time the Ringwraiths never again appeared in visible shape beyond the walls of Minas Morgul; but the Wise were in doubt what should yet come to pass, and Gandalf made great journeys to discover the plans and devices of their enemies.
The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 8, The Tale of Years of the Third Age
On the part of several lands it was less than Watchful:
But during the Watchful Peace the forts along the Anduin, especially on the west shore of the Undeeps, had been unmanned and neglected. After that time Gondor was assailed both by orcs out of Mordor (which had long been unguarded) and by the Corsairs of Umbar, and had neither men nor opportunity for manning the line of Anduin north of the Emyn Muil.
Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Ride of Eorl
But during the Watchful Peace (from 2063 to 2460) the people of Calenardhon dwindled: the more vigorous, year by year, went eastward to hold the line of the Anduin; those that remained became rustic and far removed from the concerns of Minas Tirith. The garrisons of the forts were not renewed, and were left to the care of local hereditary chieftains whose subjects were of more and more mixed blood. For the Dunlendings drifted steadily and unchecked over the Isen. Thus it was, when the attacks on Gondor from the East were renewed, and Orcs and Easterlings overran Calenardhon and besieged the forts, which would not have long held out.
Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 5, The Battles of the Fords of Isen: Appendix
added quotes: Elena Tiriel 3Oct05