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The Unheeded Warning.

Here we see Catlett's Station, on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, which Stuart's cavalry seized in a night sortie on August 22, 1862. The damage done was not severe. Stuart was unable to burn the loaded wagon-trains surrounding the station and had to content himself with capturing horses, which he mounted with wounded Federal soldiers; he escaped at four the next morning, driven off by the approach of a superior force. Pope, at the time, was in possession of the fords of the Rappahannock, trying to check the Confederate advance toward the Shenandoah. Stuart's raid, however, so alarmed General Halleck that he immediately telegraphed Pope from Washington: “By no means expose your railroad communication with Alexandria. It is of the utmost importance in sending your supplies and reinforcements.” Pope did not fall back upon his railroad communication, however, until after Jackson had seized Manassas Junction. At Manassas Junction, as it appeared in the upper picture on August 26, 1862, is one of the great neglected strategic points in the theater of the war. Twenty-five miles from Alexandria and thirty miles in a direct line from Washington, it was almost within long cannon-shot less battles of Bull Run. It was Valley and beyond the Blue Ridge, through Manassas Gap. The Confederates knew its value, and after the first battle of Bull Run built the fortifications which we see in the upper picture, to the left beyond the supply-cars on the railroad. Pope, after the battle of Cedar Mountain, should have covered it, extending his lines so as to protect it from Jackson's incursion through Thoroughfare Gap; instead he held the main force of his army opposing that of Lee.

The unheeded warning

Catlett's station


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