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Near Ferry Farm in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Civil War at Ferry Farm

 
 
The Civil War at Ferry Farm Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 13, 2008
1. The Civil War at Ferry Farm Marker
Inscription. George Washington's Ferry Farm, seen here from the opposite side of the river, was in the middle of the Union lines during the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862. On December 11th Union engineers began building a pontoon bridge at the ferry landing, but work was halted by sniper fire. Late in the day soldiers of the 89th New York crossed the river in pontoons and drove the Confederates back. The bridge was completed and artillery was stationed to cover the crossing of the Union army on its way to defeat in the Battle of Fredericksburg. Pontoon bridges were also constructed here during the Chancellorsville Campaign in May 1863 and the Overland Campaign in May 1864.

A soldier of the 5th New Hampshire recalled the night march down the ferry road to the pontoon bridge: "The road to the descent was steep and narrow, and was bordered on one side by a chasm ten or fifteen feet deep. As my train went down, one mule driver overturned his wagon, mules and all, into the chasm. The wagon alighted on its top and its wheels loomed up vaguely through the darkness."

Soldiers assigned here were aware of the historical significance of Ferry Farm. William Draper of the 36th Massachusetts wrote: "The part of the line that it usually fell to my lot to hold was the old Washington Farm, where General Washington passed most of
"The Ferries" and "The Civil War at Ferry Farm" Markers image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
2. "The Ferries" and "The Civil War at Ferry Farm" Markers
his earlier years, and where he cut the cherry tree with his little hatchet cut could not tell a lie."


Members of the 148th Pennsylvania tried to throw stones across the river, but none could equal Washington's legendary feat. One wrote: "Could General Washington have beheld...the havoc that was to be wrought by those mighty hosts of his countrymen in fratricidal strife on the very ground, every nook and corner of which must have been familiar to him in his youthful days... his patriotic soul would have been overwhelmed by grief."
 
Location. 38° 17.766′ N, 77° 26.997′ W. Marker is near Ferry Farm, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker can be reached from King's Highway (State Highway 3), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located on the walking trail for the Washington's Boyhood Home site. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22405, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Ferries (a few steps from this marker); The Washington Plantation (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington’s Childhood Home (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Creek Delegation in Fredericksburg (approx. 0.2 miles away);
Stairs Down to the Ferry Site image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 13, 2008
3. Stairs Down to the Ferry Site
The chasm noted by the 5th New Hampshire soldier must have been to the right of these stairs. At the base of the bluffs is a spring that flowed in Washington's time.
Fredericksburg's Wharves and Harbor (approx. 0.2 miles away); George Washington’s Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm (approx. 0.2 miles away); George Washington Boyhood Home Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fredericksburg City Dock (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Ferry Farm.
 
Also see . . .  The Civil War at Ferry Farm. The crossing site saw much activity during the Civil War. (Submitted on December 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
High Ground above the Ferry Site image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 13, 2008
4. High Ground above the Ferry Site
Federal guns occupied the high ground overlooking the ferry site during the Battle of Fredericksburg. From this point the rifled cannon engaged Confederate positions around the Sunken Lane on Marye's Heights.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 810 times since then and 78 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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