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Appendix VI August 28–29, 1862, Thoroughfare Gap To visit Thoroughfare Gap from the Visitor Center, follow these directions: Depart the Visitor Center’s parking area and drive to the Sudley Road. Turn right on the Sudley Road and drive north for 0.4 mile to the intersection with the Warrenton Turnpike (where the stoplight is). Turn left on to the Warrenton Turnpike (U.S. Highway 29–Lee Highway) and drive west for 4.9 miles to Highway 55 (John Marshall Highway). This highway is to your right 0.7 mile after you drive under Interstate 66. Be careful: Highway 55 goes to the right; the road to your left is 619, the Lincoln Hall Road. Turn right on to Highway 55 and continue driving west for 6.4 miles to the intersection with Road 628. In 5.7 miles you will drive through Thoroughfare Gap. In 0.7 miles you will come to a road intersection. Turn left on to County Road 628 (Bust Head Road), immediately pull off to the side of the road, leave your car, and look back east to the gap. Be careful of traffic. Position A—Approaching the Gap You are looking east and viewing Thoroughfare Gap as the Confederates saw it as they marched east. The high ground to the right (south) is Pond Mountain (also called Biscuit Mountain ). The high ground to the left (north) is Mother Leathercoat Mountain. These two terrain features extend 430 feet and 413 feet, respectively, above the floor of the gap. The gap itself is approximately 100 yards wide. In those 100 yards was a road Thoroughfare Gap 300 (today Highway 55), the tracks of the Manassas Gap Railroad, and Broad Run. Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Left Wing marched through the gap on August 26 on the way to Bristoe Station on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Arriving at Bristoe Station, Jackson had completed the turning movement designed by Lee. Pope’s main supply line was cut and he began to retreat from his positions along the Rappahannock River. Once Pope began to retreat, Lee ordered Major General James Longstreet to march his Right Wing along Jackson’s route and reunite the Army of Northern Virginia. Longstreet, following Jackson, began his march on August 26, the day Jackson captured Bristoe Station then Pope’s supply base at Manassas Junction. The next day Longstreet marched to the vicinity of White Plains, eight miles west of the gap. On August 28 Jackson moved his forces to the “Stony Ridge” overlooking the Warrenton Turnpike and in the late afternoon initiated the fight at Groveton against King’s division (Stop 1). On that same day Longstreet marched to the western edge of Thoroughfare Gap, where his units prepared to spend the night. As a precaution, Jones’s Brigade, commanded by Colonel George T. Anderson of Brigadier General David R. Jones’s division , was sent forward to secure the gap. Anderson sent Colonel Benjamin Beck’s Ninth Georgia into the gap. The Ninth Georgia made contact with the First New Jersey Cavalry. Major General Irvin McDowell’s Third Corps, Ricketts’s, King’s, and Reynolds’s (attached) divisions, was in the vicinity of Gainesville on August 28. The First New Jersey Cavalry was at Thoroughfare Gap. McDowell had received information from scouts that Longstreet was west of Thoroughfare Gap and moving toward it. He probably saw the opportunity, if sufficient force was present , to stop Longstreet and prevent a reuniting of Lee’s army. Before he could act on that intelligence, he received an order from the army commander, Major General John Pope, to march his corps to Manassas, in a too-late attempt to trap Jackson. Still concerned about Longstreet, he left Major General James B. Ricketts’s division at Gainesville with orders to be prepared to resist any attempt by Longstreet to march through the gap. Thoroughfare Gap 301 Reynolds’s division marched to Warrenton and followed the Warrenton Turnpike east until it reached Pageland Lane, where it turned southeast toward Manassas. King’s division followed Reynolds’s and, while marching along the turnpike near Groveton, made contact with Jackson’s force, which resulted in the evening battle at Brawner’s Farm. Ricketts, informed of the First New Jersey’s contact at the gap, marched west in an effort to stop Longstreet. As the initial contact developed in the gap, Jones sent the remainder of Anderson’s Brigade into the gap and on to the high ground...


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