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 years of carnage this influence was dominant. McDowell moved out of Washington under its orders. Burnside assaulted Lee's line at Fredericksburg under its arbitrary demand. Meade moved upon the Army of Northern Virginia at Mine Run at the dictation of this same power. But pardon this digression, and go back to strategic points. McDowell moved out of Washington with the Grand Army, and developing Beauregard's outposts, soon pressed them back upon the reserves and precipitated the indecisive battle, 18th of July, 1861. Pausing then, McDowell took advantage of his information to study the situation and plan accordingly. Beauregard, finding his force inadequate, appealed to Johnston, then at Winchester, for assistance. His prompt response is too well known to detail here; how Bee and Bartow died; how Kirby Smith, coming into line almost on the run upon McDowell's flank, and ‘Jackson standing like a stone wall,’ snatched victory from defeat, and turned the triumph of the foe into an utter rout. The plains of Manassas drank in the best blood of the South, but victory laid her crown of immortelles upon ‘the banner of the stars and bars.’ Manassas, heretofore an insignificant railroad crossing, became the base of the Confederate army. Roads, both dirt and rail, radiated and crossed here, and its strategic worth, and the fierceness for which its possession was contended, demonstrated its value. After McClellan had been paralyzed before Richmond, a year later, a new and powerful Federal army was being massed in Northern Virginia, causing concern to the Confederate government. To check further advance, Lee transported his army from its intrenchments before Richmond, first to the line of the Rapidan, then to the banks of the Rappahannock. The summer rains had swollen the river, and thus gave the Federal commander a strong position. The fords were unavailable, and Pope held the key to the situation. But the genius of Lee could not be neutralized by an obstacle like the roaring Rappahannock. He sent the energetic and phenomenal Jackson to secure Manassas in Pope's rear. Silently and steadily the Stonewall corps tramped by a circuitous route, and before the Federal commander was aware of his absence from his front, Lee's great lieutenant had seized Manassas with its
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