The above map, showing the Union army’s positions before Washington, D.C., appeared in a supplement to the New York Times on December 7, 1861. Headlined “The Army Before Washington,” the story begins:

The interest which attaches to the military operations of the National army on the line of the Potomac, has induced us to present the readers of the Times with the above very complete and accurate map of the impregnable lines of the Virginia side of the National Capital. These masterly defences sweep from the neighborhood of Great Falls, ten miles above Washington, southward to the mouth of Accotink Creek, 15 miles below the City; and occupy the arc of a circle the outermost point of which, in the direction of the main body of the enemy at Manassas, may be fixed at Flint Hill. This territory is actually in possession of our troops; the National pickets and reconnoitering parties frequently pushing miles nearer the rebel host, but fully maintaining the ground embraced between teh dotted line traced on the map, and the banks of the Potomac.

IMAGE: “The National lines before Washington: a map exhibiting the defences of the national capital and positions of the several divisions of the grand Union army: supplement to the New-York times: New York, Saturday, December 7, 1861” (Library of Congress)


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