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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Port Republic in Rockingham County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

North River Bridge

Covered bridge instrumental in Valley Campaign

 
 
North River Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
1. North River Bridge Marker
Inscription. The road seen across the river was the original route into the village from the north and west. Early visitors crossed North River by means of a ford, later a ferry, and finally a bridge. After the Civil War, four more bridges were built on approximately the same site; two of them destroyed by floods, two dismantled.

In June 1862, near the end of his Valley Campaign, Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was being pursued by two Union forces, those of Gen. John Fremont on the Shenandoah’s west bank and those of General James Shields on the east. Jackson chose to take his stand here, where the covered bridge offered the only means for the Union troops to unite. On June 8, Jackson had left half his forces under Richard Ewell to stop Fremont at Cross Keys, while half were camped on the bluffs across the river. He and his officers were headquartered in the village when Shields’ advance guard arrived, scattered the pickets, set up guns, and invaded the town.

Jackson survived his closest personal call of the war he when he narrowly escaped across the bridge. His gallop through town brought him here, even as artillery fire from beyond the forks of the river was crashing through the bridge’s timbers. Soon after the general reached the relative safety of the far shore, an Ohio battery’s cannon was rolled to the end of the bridge
North River Bridge Marker with River in background image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
2. North River Bridge Marker with River in background
and aimed toward the mounted figure on the opposite bank. Jackson, suspecting that the gun might be a captured Confederate piece, yelled and gesticulated toward the gunners. The booming North River made his voice inaudible, so the Yankees had no idea what he was saying, but the episode of Jackson giving orders to an enemy gun crew became part of Stonewall legend.

The 37th Virginia Infantry massed on the far side of the river, poured through the covered bridge, and drive the advance guard out of Port Republic. The next day, during the Battle of Port Republic ,Jackson ordered the bridge burned, leaving a frustrated Fremont marooned and unable to come to the aid of Shields. After a morning of heavy fighting, Jackson won the battle to end the Valley Campaign.
 
Erected 1999 by Society of Port Republic Preservationists, Inc. in cooperation with Shenandoaha Battlefield National Historic District Commission. Installation by the Port Republic Ruritan Club.
 
Location. 38° 17.81′ N, 78° 48.591′ W. Marker is in Port Republic, Virginia, in Rockingham County. Marker is on Route 1602, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Port Republic VA 24471, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured
View from the opposite river bank, back toward the marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
3. View from the opposite river bank, back toward the marker
as the crow flies. The Point (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Frank Kemper House (about 500 feet away but has been reported missing); Palmer Lot at Middle Ford (approx. 0.3 miles away); Port Republic Foundry (approx. 0.6 miles away); Madison Hall (approx. 0.6 miles away); Port Republic Battlefield (approx. 1.4 miles away but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Port Republic Battlefield (approx. 2.3 miles away); Port Republic (approx. 2.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Port Republic.
 
More about this marker. On the right is a map from the West Point Atlas of American Wars showing the tactical dispositions for the battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsWar, US Civil
 
NE view from near the marker and across the river to the opposite abutment image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
4. NE view from near the marker and across the river to the opposite abutment
Close-up view of the abutment across the river from the marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
5. Close-up view of the abutment across the river from the marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,448 times since then and 136 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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