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485 > Page 485 of Novels, stories, sketches, and poems of Thomas Nelson Page (vol. 17)

AUTUMN OF '1863 There were men and supplies of all kinds in abun- dance. The difficulty in the way was the Army of Northern Virginia with its general. This army lay along the Rapidan in the Piedmont, about Orange and Gordonsville, at the junction of the Orange and Alexandria Railway, and the Vir- g'inia Central Railway, which led south-east to Richmond and west to the valley of Virginia and to the south-west. One plai:i which was con- ;idered at Washington was to move by Lee's left flank against this important line of commnuni- cation and thence on Richmond; but for good reasons this plan was discarded and the move- ment by Lee's right flank was adopted. This latter plan, though it led through more difficult country than the other, would place Grant's lines of communication on the opposite side of his army from Lee and would effectually secure them from attack. It would also enable him to cover Washington and receive reinforcements as needed. Grant's plan was a comprehensive one. In brief, it was to "attack all along the line," and thus, first, keep all the Confederate forces fully engaged, so that one army should not be able to reinforce any other; secondly, destroy all the lines of commurication between Richmond and the South and South-west; thirdly, destroy all the 485