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 branch ran to the village of Warrenton, at the foot of the mountains; then Bealeton, and finally Rappahannock station. Omitting the route leading from the chain bridge to Leesburg, which was parallel to the Potomac, and therefore useless, there is but one turnpike to be met in this country,—that which had already played so prominent a part in the battle of Bull Run in 1861, and which is known as the Warrenton turnpike; leaving Alexandria, it passes through Fairfax Court-house, whence a branch called the Little River Turnpike is detached from the main line to Aldie, reaches Centreville, runs down to the stone bridge, where it crosses Bull Run, passes through the battle-field of July 21st by ascending the little valley of Young's Branch, leaving the wooded undulations of Sudeley Spring to the right, and the open plateau of Manassas to the left, and, after passing the Groveton farm, reaches the hamlet of Gainesville, where it intersects the small railway leading to Manassas Gap. Gainesville is an important junction, for it is there that a road branches off parallel to this railway, which leads through Thoroughfare Gap and the villages of White Plains and Salem to the west of the Bull Run Mountains, into the valley of Virginia. From Gainesville the principal road continues the direction from east to west, which it follows from Alexandria to New Baltimore, where it turns southward to run along the side of the mountains, crossing them at Warrenton, and thence reaches Waterloo Bridge to the west. This road on one side, and the Orange Railway as far as Rappahannock station on the other, were the lines through which Pope could receive supplies and reinforcements from Washington. It was essential, above everything, to cover them in order to protect the capital. But as the greater portion of the army of the Potomac was to land at Aquia Creek, Halleck had directed him to keep up his communications with this point at any cost, having selected it as being at that time nearest to the positions occupied by the army of Virginia. This army thus found itself placed at the intersection of two diverging lines, those of Alexandria and Aquia Creek, and obliged to defend both of them. We shall see the fatal consequences of this position. The first was to retain Pope on the upper Rappahannock, when his principal care should have been to effect a junction with
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