Edwards Ferry

Edwards Ferry (HMMJ2)

Location: Poolesville, MD 20837 Montgomery County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 6.2', W 77° 28.392'

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Strategic Crossing

— Gettysburg Campaign —

Gen. Joseph Hooker's 75,000-man, seven-corps Army of the Potomac crossed the Potomac River here, June 25-27, 1863, on the way to Gettysburg. The army crossed on two 1,400-foot-long pontoon bridges. Heavy rains during those three days made the single road to and from the bridges extremely muddy.

On the afternoon of June 28, Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's cavalrymen, having crossed the Potomac into Maryland just south of here at Violettes Lock, burned 15 barges loaded with government stores in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal near here. They also captured mules and men working the barges.

This had been a strategically important crossing since Jun 1861, when Union troops first camped here. They suffered Confederate surprise attacks throughout the war. Col. Elijah V. White's 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry, which included troopers from the area, captured 16 Union soldiers and 35 horses and mules in August 1863. During Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early's retreat after he threatened Washington in July 1864, his cavalry destroyed the Union camp, the canal lock, and several canal boats. Confederates attacked again across the frozen river in February 1865, bringing back 14 horses and equipment.

(sidebar) In December 1861, Professor Thaddeus Lowe, U.S. Chief of Aeronauts, established a base here for frequent balloon ascents to observe Confederate movements across the river near Leesburg. Although the Confederates attempted camouflage and concealment, the balloon reconnaissance proved fruitful and continued until March 1862. Gen. Charles P. Stone, commanding Federal troops camped nearby, made at least one ascent himself.
HM NumberHMMJ2
Series This marker is part of the Maryland Civil War Trails series
Placed ByMaryland Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 12:06pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 286139 N 4331155
Decimal Degrees39.10333333, -77.47320000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 6.2', W 77° 28.392'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 6' 12.00" N, 77° 28' 23.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 14800 Edwards Ferry Rd, Poolesville MD 20837, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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