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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

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Strategic Civil War Crossings of the Upper Potomac

All-Day Tour

Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Code: 1ND037
Associates members reenact historic river crossing

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. Elijah Col. “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 crossing the Potomac (and a return) at historic White's Ford. Led by military historian Gregg Clemmer, follow the bootsteps 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.

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