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[554] all the roads east of Chester Gap, whilst Averill took possession of Manassas Gap after a slight skirmish.

On the 6th of November the army's change of base was therefore accomplished. All the corps had reached the Manassas Gap Railroad, or were sufficiently near this railway to seek their supplies at some of its stations. This line established direct communications with Washington, the capital was covered, and the reinforcements promised to McClellan were beginning to arrive. Bayard's cavalry had joined him a few days before, and on the 6th of November the Eleventh corps, which Siegel brought him, was at New Baltimore and Thoroughfare Gap; after this corps followed Sickles' division, which encamped that day at Manassas Junction and Warrenton Junction. The whole army thus extended from the passes of the Blue Ridge to the isolated chain of hills adjoining the Bull Run Mountains. The First corps already occupied Warrenton, the Ninth had reached Waterloo on the Rappahannock, the Second was at Rectortown on the Manassas Gap Railroad, the Fifth and Sixth closed the march, and were proceeding in the direction of this railway, one from Snicker's Gap and the other from Upperville. Warrenton was the place selected by McClellan as a point of concentration; it was the terminus of a railroad which offered great facilities for the transportation and distribution of rations. His columns were to march upon this town, leaving the Rappahannock on the right, whilst Pleasanton, remaining on the left bank of this river, was to watch Thornton's Gap, the only pass in the Blue Ridge through which Jackson communicated with Longstreet. These two Confederate generals were posted, one at Millwood, the other at Culpepper, more than seventy kilometres apart in a direct line, and more than one hundred by the pass of Thornton's Gap, which was occupied by D. H. Hill's division, whose duty it was to keep up a connection between the two points. The Federal army was placed almost between the two; it needed but one day's march to separate them, and two or three for the whole of it to assemble at Warrenton; it would thus have found itself fronting Longstreet, who had only about fifty thousand men under him, and could have attacked him with every chance of success. Jackson and Lee, who had a thorough knowledge of the situation, had

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