Wolf Run Shoals

Wolf Run Shoals (HM1F73)

Location: Clifton, VA 20124 Fairfax County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 43.678', W 77° 21.533'

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Strategic Crossing Point

During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate forces considered Wolf Run Shoals an essential crossing point on the Occoquan River through 1963. Confederate regiments camped on the south side of the shoals and posted pickets there from the winter of 1861-1862 until March 1862.

In December 1862, the Federal XI and XII Corps used the ford on their march from Northern Virginia south to Fredericksburg. In January 1863, the 2nd Vermont Brigade's 12th and 13th Infantry camped on the north side of the ford. Because of increased Confederate partisan ranger activities under Captain John S. Mosby, the units were strengthened in March.

The Union Army of the Potomac's II and VI Corps, as well as the Artillery Resere, crossed the shoals as they moved north in June 1863 towards Pennsylvania and Gettysburg. General Joseph Hooker, who then commanded the army, ordered the 2nd Vermont Brigade to follow, thereby leaving the ford unguarded. This action enabled Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart and his cavalrymen to cross here just 48 hours later, early in the morning of June 27, on what would become his controversial ride to Gettysburg.

Colonel John S. Mosby's Rangers made the last reported military use of this ford in April 1865.

(sidebar) Local resident Mary Willcoxon nursed young Vermont Lieutenant Carmi Marsh back to health at her nearby house. The grateful Marsh provided her with financial support in her later years, including her funeral expenses.

(sidebar) Wolf Run Shoals, a three-island ford that spans the Occoquan River here, has historic roots dating back to the Revolutionary War. In 1781, General George Washington ordered a road built for American and French wagons, cavalry, and cattle en route to Yorktown. Part of this road , now called the Washington-Rochembeau Wagon Route, lies directly in front of you and leads to the water's edge. The shoal islands and the mill that once stood here, however, are now submerged in the Occoquan Reservoir.
HM NumberHM1F73
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 29th, 2014 at 1:32pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 294947 N 4289231
Decimal Degrees38.72796667, -77.35888333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 43.678', W 77° 21.533'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 43' 40.68" N, 77° 21' 31.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 8598 Wolf Run Shoals Rd, Clifton VA 20124, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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