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[327] he ordered his columns to Centreville. The leading divisions of McDowell's corps had passed through Gainesville, on the way to the junction, early in the day; but King's division did not reach that point until after Pope had ordered a concentration at Centreville, so King, on receiving these orders, decided to take the direct road from Gainesville to Centreville rather than the circuitous one by Manassas Junction, ignorant of the fact that Jackson lay concealed in the forest, flanking the left of this direct road, but a short distance from Gainesville; and so it came to pass that when, late in the afternoon, he was marching along in front of Jackson's concealed army, the divisions of Taliaferro and Ewell sprang upon him, and by a short, but fierce and bloody struggle, drove him back, under cover of the night, to Gainesville and to the road to Manassas Junction, on which Ricketts' column, retreating from Lee's bold assault at the Thoroughfare gap, overtook him during the night. On the morning of the 29th these discomfited divisions of King and Ricketts appeared in the vicinity of the junction, and there was now no Federal force to oppose the coming together of the two wings of Lee's army on the famous battlefield of ‘Groveton Heights,’ as Jackson named it, that of the first day of the Second Bull Run, or Manassas.

Stuart, from Jackson's right, on the 29th, soon opened communication with Lee and Longstreet, who had but eight miles to march to the field of action and extend his lines southward from Jackson's right and cover the roads leading from Centreville and from Manassas Junction. By 10 a. m. of the morning of the 29th, Lee had stationed himself on a commanding knoll, near the head of Young's branch, on the south side of the turnpike, from which he could see his left, under Jackson, stretching away to the northeast in his strong position on the Sudley ridge, for nearly three miles, those of Longstreet, reaching to the southward, through fields and forests, for nearly the same distance, like two gigantic arms outstretched, with the fingers of Robertson's cavalry on the right and those of Fitz Lee on the left, and ready to close in deadly embrace upon any foe that should venture to come within their far-extending reach.

In the early morning of the 29th, Pope, at Centreville, was issuing orders for a fourth concentration of his

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