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irst, the railway bridge at Gordon Mills, and above only two fords—Mitchell's Ford and Blackburn's Ford, both difficult of access.
Higher up, the declivities are less abrupt, the fords become more numerous, and the main road from Alexandria to Warrenton crosses the river over a stone bridge.
Beyond this bridge, ascending the course of Bull Run, the country is flat, intersected with woods and small clearings; and in the vicinity of Sudeley Springs, this stream, fordable at every point, is no lines, far from any road, and is intersected by numerous wooden bridges that a retreating enemy could easily destroy.
In order to follow this direction, therefore, there only remained to him, besides cross-roads, the turnpike from Alexandria to Warrenton, which, running from east to west, passes through the villages of Annandale and Fairfax Court-house before it reaches Centreville.
It became necessary, therefore, to move the greatest portion of the army with its baggage on a single route, lea