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Strategic Civil War Crossings of the Upper Potomac
All-Day Tour with Special Guest Ed Bearss

Saturday, August 27, 2016 - 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Code: 1ND036
Participants at a previous Smithsonian Associates’ tour cross the Potomac at White’s Ford

Throughout history, rivers have exerted profound influences on military campaigns. Investigate six strategic Potomac crossings made by both Blue and Gray troops. Visit pristine Rowser's Ford, used by Col. John Mosby and Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry in June 1863; scenic Edwards Ferry, crossed by Gen. Joe Hooker's Army of the Potomac on the way to Gettysburg; and obscure Young's Island Ford, where Gen. Julius Stahel's Union cavalry entered Maryland the same day. Stop by Conrad’s Ferry (known today as White’s Ferry), often used by such cavalry commanders as Mosby, Lt. Col. Elijah “Lige” White’s Comanches, and Gen. John McCausland. And nearby, see the approach to Harrison’s Island, accessed by Federal forces in the tragic battle at Ball’s Bluff.

The highlight of the day is a cross of the Potomac (and a return) at historic White's Ford. Led by military historian Gregg Clemmer to follow the boot steps of Lee's forces as they entered Maryland before Antietam and Jubal Early’s retreat after his July 1864 raid on Washington. As a bonus, visit the site of a Civil War gold discovery.

Bring a towel, shorts, and a change of shoes; boots or tennis shoes are fine. Lunch is provided after the crossing.

There is no fringe stop.


Departs from the Holiday Inn Capitol at
550 C St SW (corner of 6th & C Sts)
No fringe stop on this tour