Junction, which, under later developments, became the strategic point.
As Johnston was his senior, another delicate question arose, that was not solved until the tramp of McDowell's army was heard on the Warrenton Turnpike.
The armies preparing for the first grand conflict were commanded by West Point graduates, both of the class of 1838,--Beauregard and McDowell.
The latter had been assigned to command of the Federal forces at Washington, south of the Potomac, in the latter part of May, 1861.
The former had assumed command of the Confederates at Manassas Junction about the 1st of June.
McDowell marched on the afternoon of the 16th of July at the head of an army of five divisions of infantry, supplemented by nine field batteries of the regular service, one of volunteers, besides two guns operating separately, and seven companies of regular cavalry.
In his infantry columns were eight companies of regulars and a battalion of marines, an aggregate of thirty-five thousand me