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[239] to operate upon the enemy's positions and batteries opposite, or to defend the bridges which connected the two wings of the army.

Some of the bridges built by our troops were of no use to us, because the enemy held the debouches, or ground that commanded the road, on the right bank. We could use, on the 25th of June, the following: Bottom's bridge, in rear of our left, and between five and six miles from its front; the railroad bridge; Sumner's upper bridge; Woodbury's, Alexander's, and Duane's bridges. These last afforded a very direct communication between the two wings of the army. As our operations against Richmond were conducted along the roads leading to it from the east and northeast, Bottom's bridge was of little direct service to us. Most of the supplies for the troops on the right bank of the river were brought up by the railroad and over the railroad bridge.

As it was now certain that the army was not to be strengthened by any reinforcements from McDowell, General McClellan resolved to do the best he could with what he had. He had covered the front of his position with defensive works, to enable him to bring the greatest possible numbers into action, and to secure the army against the consequences of unforeseen disaster. As Jackson had kept McDowell from joining him, he hoped that Jackson might also be kept from joining Lee.


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