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[551] reserve artillery, Stoneman's division, the First, and lastly the Sixth, corps, crossed the bridge at Berlin. In the mean while, the Second, followed by the Fifth corps, crossing the Potomac at Harper's Ferry, and then the Shenandoah, emerged from the valley by skirting the extremity of Loudon Heights. They thus struck into the road, followed by the troops who had crossed the river east of the Blue Ridge, while the latter continued to advance toward the south. All the corps marched in sufficient proximity to each other to be able to afford one another mutual support in case Lee should cross the mountains and come to attack the army either in front or in rear.

On the 2d of November, the day when the rear-guard, consisting of the Sixth corps, reached at last the right bank of the river at Berlin, Burnside caused the Ninth corps to occupy Bloomfield and Union; the Second, bearing to the right, took possession of Snicker's Gap; the Fifth and First were at some distance in the rear; one reached Snickersville in the evening, the other was encamped at Purcellsville since the previous day; Pleasanton's cavalry cleared the march. The first three passes of the Blue RidgeVestal's Gap, Gregory's Gap and Snicker's Gap-were, therefore, either masked or occupied. Lee had not defended them, and had merely directed the brigades of Gregg and Thomas to make an insignificant demonstration on the 2d against the troops posted in the last-mentioned defile.

He had, in fact, guessed the purpose of the Federals; and being well aware that he could not maintain himself in the valley of Virginia, he was proceeding rapidly toward the borders of the Rappahannock with the greater part of his army for the purpose of forestalling them. On the 1st of November a considerable portion of his artillery, his reserves and stores had been sent by way of Thornton's Gap to Culpepper Court-house, where they arrived on the 4th. Longstreet, following this movement, proceeded up the Shenandoah, crossed it at Front Royal, and passing through the Blue Ridge at Chester Gap emerged in the vicinity of the sources of the Rappahannock. The streams which form this river presenting no serious obstacle, he fell back as far as Culpepper, where he arrived on the 3d of November. The first tributary of the Rappahannock of any importance,

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