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