|Covering Lee's retreat from Pennsylvania This photograph is an excellent illustration of the cavalry's method of destroying the railroads between the two capitals. The light rails were placed across piles of ties. The ties were lighted and the rails heated until of their own weight they bent out of shape. Mile upon mile of railroad could thus be destroyed in a day. New rails had to be brought before it was possible to rebuild the line. Note the tangle of telegraph wires. The telegraph lines were also destroyed wherever the Confederate position was known and it was therefore impossible to tap them and read the Union leaders' messages. The Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac spent the month of October, 1863, when this photograph was taken, maneuvering for position along the Rappahannock. On October 20th the Army of the Potomac was occupying Warrenton and Lee had retired to the north bank of the Rappahannock, having destroyed the Orange and Alexandria Railroad from Bristoe Station to the river, and by the 22d, both armies were again in camp.|
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