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War's heaviest labor Here a construction corps is rebuilding the railroad bridge across Bull Run. The men are armed with crowbars and axes, and in the constant wielding of such peaceful implements throughout the war many who never fired a musket became expert in the occupations of peace. This photograph was taken in March, 1863, while Hooker was reestablishing railway communications to make possible his contemplated advance toward Gordonsville, Virginia, with the expectation of driving Lee back upon Richmond. During the previous year, in the disastrous campaign of Pope, most of the bridges along the Orange & Alexandria Railroad had been destroyed and much of the line torn up. In order to flank Lee's position at Fredericksburg, it was imperative for the Army of the Potomac to abandon its base at Aquia Creek and draw supplies overland from Alexandria. In the spring Hooker was pushing the railroad repairs.

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Robert E. Lee (2)
John Pope (1)
Joseph Hooker (1)
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