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[276] that the enemy's entire army was thus stealing away from him for the purpose of going to operate in the Shenandoah Valley, he does not seem to have thought of Thoroughfare Gap, which lay open on his flank so close to Manassas Junction and his principal depots. Deceived by the very tidings which should have put him on his guard, he thought of nothing else at this critical moment but to cross the Rappahannock to separate Longstreet from Jackson. But when the orders issued in view of this new manoeuvre reached his troops, they, as we have seen, had just accomplished a long march to the rear, and were singularly scattered. It was at Warrenton that Siegel received the order to force the passage of Waterloo Bridge at all hazards, and this fortunate circumstance alone prevented him from taking part in an affair which would have cost him very dear. Pope, however, thanks to the arrival of Porter and Heintzelman, had from fifty-five to sixty thousand men under his command on the morning of the 26th, and Halleck had promised him twenty thousand more. But instead of drawing near to these reinforcements, and concentrating his entire army upon a point whence he would have been able to cover Thoroughfare Gap, he relied for this important service upon the reinforcements promised him, which, in fact, had not yet even landed at Alexandria; and during the whole of the 26th he persisted in the project he had formed of pursuing the enemy upon the right bank of the Rappahannock. To this effect he had despatched Porter toward Warrenton with orders to leave that town on the morning of the 27th, and to proceed south in the direction of Sulphur Springs.

In the mean time, while the Federals were thus wasting precious time in useless counter-marches, Jackson was still advancing directly toward his object. Preceded by Stuart's cavalry, his three divisions came down from the Bull Run Mountains upon the great railway artery through which Pope's army was receiving all its supplies. Only a few of the enemy's cavalry had noticed their presence; evidently no one expected them from that quarter, everything indicated that the Federals were resting in a fatal security. Heintzelman had already crossed, Franklin had not yet arrived. Immense stores of provisions had been collected at Manassas, the only important station between Washington and

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