Daffan in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Potomac Creek Bridge
“Beanpoles and Cornstalks”
Over the next three years, the Union army built as many as four railroad bridges atop this same abutment. In May 1862, engineer Herman Haupt supervised unskilled Union infantrymen in harvesting two million feet of local lumber to construct the first of these structures, accomplishing this task in just nine days. During a visit to the Fredericksburg area, President Abraham Lincoln led Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren on a walk across the 80-foot-high, 400-foot-long span. Stanton became dizzy while crossing the bridge and only finished
Around 1899, the south abutment and its approaching right-of-way (now occupied by the county road that you followed to get here) were abandoned. The railroad and bridge were shifted to their present locations at that time.
“I have seen the most remarkable structure that human eyes ever rested upon. That man Haupt has built a bridge across Potomac Creek, about 400 feet long and nearly 100 feet high, over which loaded trains are running every hour, and, upon my word, gentlemen, there is nothing in it but beanpoles and cornstalks.” —Abraham Lincoln
(caption under main picture) The Potomac Creek Bridge (under Union control), ca. February 1863, looking across the creek from a viewpoint located just down the slope in front of you.
(caption to the right of the portrait of Herman Haupt) A genius of innovation, Herman Haupt rebuilt the bridge over Potomac Creek in just nine days utilizing mostly local materials.
(caption to the right of the small bridge picture) The Potomac Creek Bridge in May or June 1863, looking across the creek from a viewpoint atop
Erected by Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 21.401′ N, 77° 24.533′ W. Marker is in Daffan, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker is on Leland Road, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22405, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cavalry Review (approx. 1.6 miles away); Lincoln Review (approx. 1.9 miles away); Camp Pitcher (approx. 1.9 miles away); History at Leeland Station (approx. 2.3 miles away); Mt. Hope Baptist Church (approx. 2.3 miles away); Union Battery (approx. 2.4 miles away); German-Americans and the Eleventh Corps (approx. 2.4 miles away); 11th Corps Road (approx. 2.4 miles away).
More about this marker. This marker is subject to periodic removal and replacement. It has been reported missing at least twice in the last six years. The marker was last replaced in early 2008.
Categories. • Bridges & Viaducts • Man-Made Features • Military • Railroads & Streetcars • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on August 28, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,058 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 28, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 6, 7. submitted on July 22, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.