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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fredericksburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fraternizing at the Ford

The Rappahannock River During the Civil War

 
 
Fraternizing at the Ford Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kathy Walker, February 28, 2009
1. Fraternizing at the Ford Marker
Inscription. The Rappahannock River served as a barrier separating the Union and Confederate Armies during the winter of 1862-63. Places where the water level, the river bottom, and the steepness of the banks were favorable for crossings were known as "fords." At Banks' Ford, Alabama troops under Col. Hilary Herbert guarded the Confederate side of the river. Although fraternizing with the enemy was against orders, the opposing soldiers often arranged informal truces.

Warning the Troops
Detachments of soldiers called "pickets" guarded places along the river that were of military value. Their mission was to give warning if an opposing force should advance. The Union pickets in the foreground of this image were directly across the river from this point.
 
Erected by Friends of the Rappahannock.
 
Location. 38° 18.491′ N, 77° 31.715′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker is on River Road 0.7 miles west of Bragg Road, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22404, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Rise & Fall of the Rappahannock Navigation System (approx. 0.8
Union Pickets Photo, Click for full size
By Kathy Walker, February 28, 2009
2. Union Pickets
miles away); 15th Regít. N. J. Volís (approx. 1.2 miles away); 23rd Regt., N. J. Vols. (approx. 1.3 miles away); Battle of Salem Church (approx. 1.3 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Salem Church (approx. 1.3 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Salem Church (approx. 1.3 miles away); From Church to Hospital (approx. 1.3 miles away); Refuge from Horror (approx. 1.3 miles away).
 
More about this marker. On the left with the main text is a sketch of the Rappahannock at this point showing the location of the Union pickets. In the center is an Edwin Forbes sketch of Soldiers trading goods with the enemy across the River using toy boats.

On the right is a map of this bend of the Rappahannock. This military atlas shows a sketch of the area during the Civil War. Banks' (AKA Scott's) Dam was directly across from you are now and Banks' Ford (prewar) was about a tenth of a mile downstream to your right. Stones from the dam abutment can still be found near River Road. The map is from "The Official Military Atlas of the Civil War," plate XLI, map
Sketch from Bottom of Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kathy Walker, February 28, 2009
3. Sketch from Bottom of Marker
1. Published by the Government Printing Office, 1891-1895.
 
Also see . . .
1. Friends of the Rappahannock. (Submitted on February 28, 2009, by Kathy Walker of Stafford, Virginia.)
2. Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Your Chesapeake Connection. (Submitted on February 28, 2009, by Kathy Walker of Stafford, Virginia.)
 
Categories. War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
Military Atlas Photo, Click for full size
By Kathy Walker, February 28, 2009
4. Military Atlas
Map of the Rappahannack River Photo, Click for full size
By Kathy Walker, February 28, 2009
5. Map of the Rappahannack River
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Photo, Click for full size
By Kathy Walker, February 28, 2009
6. Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Banks' Ford Photo, Click for full size
By Kathy Walker, February 28, 2009
7. Banks' Ford
Rappahannock River Water Trail Photo, Click for full size
By Kathy Walker, February 28, 2009
8. Rappahannock River Water Trail
Fraternizing at the Ford Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kathy Walker, February 28, 2009
9. Fraternizing at the Ford Marker
View looking north across the Rappahannock River.
Fraternizing at the Ford Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kathy Walker, February 28, 2009
10. Fraternizing at the Ford Marker
View looking east (down river).
Fraternizing at the Ford Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kathy Walker, February 28, 2009
11. Fraternizing at the Ford Marker
View from across River Road.
Signs on Tree near Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kathy Walker, February 28, 2009
12. Signs on Tree near Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kathy Walker of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,398 times since then and 78 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on , by Kathy Walker of Stafford, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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