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No action or combat of importance, however, had occurred save in the neighborhood of Gordonsville, where a sharp cavalry encounter took place, with loss on both sides; yet the enemy rapidly fell back towards the Rapidan, and seemed disinclined to operate in the fine open country south of it. This was generalship. They knew not what force was approaching; by crossing the stream and destroying the bridges, a deep unfordable river was left in our front, which would occasion much delay; and as Culpeper was as a pivot-point by which the enemy could keep open the communication with their main army under Pope, approaching east by north; with Miles advancing from the west through the Valley with a heavy force, and with Washington nearly due north; Banks had massed his troops in a wooded plain near Cedar Mountain. Pope was not more than thirty miles to his left, with large masses advancing; while Miles, with fourteen thousand of all arms, was midway up the Valley, distant some forty or more m