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History of Cambria County, V.2

ground slightly undulating, with a splendid supply of water. Its general course is southwest from the Potomac river; it is sixty miles in width from Harper's Ferry on the east, or the Blue Ridge side, to Bath, on the westerly side at the Allegheny mountain. At Winchester it is about forty-five miles, and at Strasburg twenty-five miles wide. Southeast of Strasburg it is divided by the Massanutton mountain into two valleys with the Luray valley between the latter and the Blue Ridge, between which and the Allegheny mountains on the west lies the Shenandoah valley.
    The Blue Ridge is about 170 miles in length, from Harper's Ferry to the Peaks of Otter, near Lynchburg. The Ridge is like the side of a ladder, in which the holes for the rungs represent the gaps through which an army could pass with its artillery and wagon trains. Between these points are twenty gaps, which average less than nine miles apart, some being only three miles. In view of the fact that these gaps are frequently used in describing the movements of troops by both armies, we give them in their order and locate them near to or on a line east and west between the most important towns on either side of the Blue Ridge. The first named is in the valley and the second on the east side of the Ridge.
    Beginning at Harper's Ferry, thence southwest: (1) Snicker's Gap, near Berryville in the valley; (2) Ashby's Gap, road leading from Strasburg to Aldie; (3) Manassas Gap, road from Front Royal to Rectortown; (4) Chester Gap, road from Front Royal to Salem; (5) Gravelly Spring Gap, eight miles south of Chester Gap; (6) Behman's Gap, three miles north of Thornton's Gap; (7) Thornton's Gap, road from Luray to Warrenton; (8) Fisher's Gap, road from New Market to Culpeper; (9) Swift Run Gap, road from Harrisonburg to Orange Court House; (10) Powell's Gap, road from Port Republic to Orange Court House; (11) Brown's Gap, road from Piedmont to Gordonsville; (12) Jarman's Gap, road from Staunton to Gordonsville; (13) Beagle's Gap, three miles south of Jarman's Gap; (14) Rock Fish Gap, road from Waynesboro and Charlottesville; (15) Reed's Gap, south of Waynesboro and Charlottesville, (16) Irish Gap, road from Lexington to Lovington; (17) White's Gap, near Lexington; (18) Robertson's Gap, near Lexington, (19) the James river flows through the Ridge north of Lynchburg; (20) Peaks of Otter, near the Natural Bridge and Lynchburg.

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Created: 16 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors