into Chesapeake Bay.
The nature of the ground, the absence of turnpikes, the small quantity of arable lands, and the very direction of the waters—everything, in short, renders an offensive campaign especially difficult in that country.
There are very few railways.
Two lines run from the shores of the Potomac to Richmond.
One, starting from Acquia Creek, halfway between Washington and the mouth of the river, runs direct to the capital of Virginia, after crossing the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg.
The other leaves Alexandria, opposite Washington, and running southwesterly reaches Gordonsville, where it forks.
One branch, following the same direction along the foot of the Blue Ridge, connects with the great Tennessee line at Lynchburg by way of Charlottesville; the other branch, bending to the east and running parallel with the tributaries of York River, strikes the first line again near one of these tributaries, and without merging into it, never leaves it until Richmond is re