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lic roads, about 20 miles from the Potomac, a distance over which the movements of the Federal army could be easily watched; and it covered the junction of the Orange & Alexandria railroad—which had connection at Gordonsville, by the Virginia Central, with Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, and with Staunton, a great depot of supplies and the most important town in the Shenandoah valley—with the Manassas Gap railroad, which led from Manassas Junction to Strasburg in the lower valley of the Shenandoah, giving quick connection with the army there operating under Gen. J. E. Johnston.
Excellent highways from Alexandria and Washington, and from other important points to the northwest and southwest, converged at Centreville, about 3 miles east of Bull run, offering great advantages for the concentration of the Federal army in the immediate front of this line; while roads diverging from the same village to the northwest, west and southwest, made it an easy matter to maneuver troops