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 in a succession of steep hills, thickly wooded, and without roads. The country comprised between the Potomac at the north-east, the Bull Run Mountains at the north-west, and the Rappahannock at the south, may be compared to a kind of triangle, the vertices of which are—one at Leesburg, at the junction of the mountains and the Potomac, another between Aquia Creek and Fredericksburg, at a point where the Potomac and the Rappahannock are only separated by a narrow peninsula, and the third at Waterloo Bridge, thrown over the Rappahannock, on the Warrenton and Luray road, near which the prolongation of the Bull Run Mountains reached down to the river. It was this triangle that Pope had to defend. Its interior topography is simple. Numerous small water-courses, all parallel, run southwestward of the Bull Run Mountains; but before discharging themselves into the Potomac, they nearly all unite to form the Occoquan. The most prominent of these water-courses, from south to north, are: Licking Run, Cedar Run, Broad Run and Bull Run. The chain of the Bull Run Mountains, around which winds the Warrenton and Luray road at Waterloo Bridge, is crossed by only three roads, one at Leesburg, another at Aldie, northwest of Fairfax Court-House, the third at Thoroughfare Gap, a long narrow breach between two rocky walls. Above Fredericksburg the Rappahannock, like all the torrents of this country, is nearly everywhere fordable during the dry season, but it only requires a rain-storm to render it impassable. The third side of the triangle was formed by the Potomac, and served as a base of operations to Pope's army. The estuary of this river, which is navigable between Alexandria and Aquia Creek, connected these two railroad termini, where the Federals had established important depots. The Aquia Creek line ran to Fredericksburg, whence it penetrated into the enemy's country. That of Alexandria supplied Pope's army with provisions. After passing all the runs enumerated above, it reached the Rappahannock station. The principal stations, enumerating from Alexandria, were,—Manassas Junction, whence an important branch, as we have already known, proceeded eastward, passing through Thoroughfare Gap, to reach Front Royal on the Shenandoah; Bristow, near Broad Run; Catlett's, near Cedar Run; Warrenton Junction, whence a small
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