Rowser's Ford

Rowser's Ford (HM4PN)

Location: Poolesville, MD 20837 Montgomery County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 4.135', W 77° 20.451'

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5,000 Confederate Cavalrymen Crossed

— Gettysburg Campaign —

On June 24, 1863, Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, leaving 3,000 cavalrymen in Rectortown, Virginia, to monitor Federal activity, led three Confederate cavalry brigades to Haymarket. Encountering Union Gen. Winfield S. Hancock's corps marching north, Stuart sent Gen. Robert E. Lee a dispatch (never received) predicting where Hancock would cross the Potomac River. Stuart's cavalry rode through Fairfax Court House and reached Dranesville on June 27.

That night, 5,000 Confederate cavalrymen crossed into Maryland at Rowser's Ford, cutting between Union army and Washington. The rain-swollen river made crossing difficult for artillery and ambulances. By 3 a.m. on Sunday, June 28, they had crossed without alerting residents.

Stuart seized the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal between Locks 23 and 24, hoping to disrupt commerce and an important Federal supply line. Cavalrymen turned a barge length-wise for an impromptu bridge. Capturing at least a dozen boats with Union soldiers and grain, they burned nine, damaged the wooden gates at Lock 23 and Guard Lock 2, and drained that section of the canal by breaching the towpath embankment. Not until June 30 was the canal again operational.

Stuart's forces rested, then split into two columns to converge that afternoon at Rockville, the Montgomery County seat. Gen. Wade Hampton's brigade turned up Seneca Road to Darnestown. Stuart, with the other two brigades under Gens. Fitzhugh Lee and W.H.F. Lee (led by Col. John R. Chambliss), rode south towards Offutts Crossroads (present-day Potomac) and onto Great Falls Road.
HM NumberHM4PN
Series This marker is part of the Maryland Civil War Trails series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 6:21pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 297486 N 4327032
Decimal Degrees39.06891667, -77.34085000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 4.135', W 77° 20.451'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 4' 8.10" N, 77° 20' 27.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 13025 Rileys Lock Rd, Poolesville MD 20837, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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