|Cavalry guarding the Orange & Alexandria railroad, 1864: ready to forestall a Confederate raid. Here it is apparent why the Northern generals found it necessary to detach large portions of their armies along their lines of communication, to guard against the impending raids of the Confederate cavalry. The destruction of the bridge in this photograph, part of Grant's line of communication in the Wilderness campaign, would have delayed his movements for days and have compelled him to detach a strong body to recapture the railroad, and another to rebuild the bridge. Hence this strong force detailed as a guard. Cavalry boots and sabers are visible in the photograph, with the revolver, distinctive of that branch of the service. The photographer evidently posed his men. Note the hands thrust into the breasts of their jackets, or clasped in front of them, the folded arms, and the jaunty attitudes. The two boys at the left of the picture seem hardly old enough to be real soldiers. The tangle of underbrush along the banks suggest the mazes of the Wilderness where Grant was baffled in his overland campaign.|
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