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

White House Bridge

Critical Crossing

 

—1862 Valley Campaign —

 
White House Bridge Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, September 29, 2006
1. White House Bridge Marker
Inscription. On May 21, 1862. Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Valley Army plodded north along this road to threaten Front Royal and out flank Union Gen. Nathaniel Bank’s position at Strasburg. With the addition of Gen. Richard S. Ewell’s division, Jackson’s command numbered nearly 17,000 men and 50 guns. Philip Kauffman, a young man at the time, remembered the Confederates as they crossed the Shenandoah River on the White House Bridge and: “...Stonewall himself as he ran the gauntlet, with bared head, through the marching columns of his ‘foot cavalry.’ His faded gray uniform with stars on the collar, his black beard and uncovered head, as he loped by the White House on Old Sorrel, are as fresh in my mind as on that day.”

Jackson’s Valley Army reached Front Royal May 23. There, aided by spy Belle Boyd, it overwhelmed Banks’ 1,000-man detachment and continued toward Winchester to attack the main Union army, now in full retreat from Strasburg. Jackson’s success was complete. He had defeated and driven Banks from the Valley and alarmed the Lincoln administration. In response to Jackson’s bold moves, a two-pronged Federal advance was to converge at Strasburg in an attempt to cut off Jackson’s line of withdrawal south.

Jackson marched south to escape. Two Federal
White House Bridge Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, September 29, 2006
2. White House Bridge Marker
Massanutten Mountain is in the background.
columns followed in close pursuit—Gen. John C. Fremont on the Valley Pike and Gen. James Shields in the Page Valley. If Shields could march quickly enough to overtake Jackson's force in the main Valley. he and Fremont could unite and attack with a superior force. To prevent this combination, Jackson ordered his cavalry commander, Turner Ashby, to destroy both the White House and Columbia bridges. Ashby dispatched Capt. Samuel Coyner’s Page County Company which rode through “one of the most dreadful thunderstorms” in time to burn the White House Bridge at 4 a.m. on June 2—only one hour before Shields’ advance guard reached the swollen river. Shields, delayed for three days by the rising river, was forced to abandon his plan to join Fremont at New Market. Jackson defeated Fremont’s and Shields’ commands separately at Cross Keys and Port Republic June 8-9.

White House Bridge takes its name from the small building immediately north of the present-day bridge. This early structure was the first home of pioneer Martin Kauffman. For a time it served as a meeting house where, as a minister, Kauffman served a Mennonite congregation.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location.
White House Bridge Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II
3. White House Bridge Marker
38° 38.858′ N, 78° 31.873′ W. Marker is near Luray, Virginia, in Page County. Marker is on U.S. 211 west of the U.S. Route 380 South turnoff, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Luray VA 22835, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. White House (a few steps from this marker); The Reverend John Roads (Rhodes) (within shouting distance of this marker); Massanutton (approx. 0.6 miles away); Calendine (approx. 1.2 miles away); Mauck Meeting House (approx. 1.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Luray.
 
More about this marker. In the center of the marker is a campaign map of the Shenandoah Valley with an inset photo of the White House.
 
Regarding White House Bridge. This marker is one of several detailing Civil War activities in Page County, Virginia. Please see the Page County Civil War Markers link below.
 
Also see . . .
1. Page County Civil War Markers. (Submitted on February 25, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Avenue of Armies: Civil War Sites and Stories of Luray and Page County ,Virginia. (Submitted on March 20, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Remains of the east abutment of the old White House bridge Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, circa 2001
4. Remains of the east abutment of the old White House bridge
White House Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
5. White House
The White House just upstream of the modern bridge. The old bridge crossed between the house and the modern bridge. Some sources indicate the bridge was covered, but this cannot be confirmed.
South abutment of the old Columbia Bridge, near Honeyville and Alma Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, circa 2001
6. South abutment of the old Columbia Bridge, near Honeyville and Alma
Capt. Samuel Brown Coyner Photo, Click for full size
7. Capt. Samuel Brown Coyner
From Confederate Veteran Magazine, Vol. 3.
Current U.S. 211 River Crossing Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, September 29, 2006
8. Current U.S. 211 River Crossing
White House Photo, Click for full size
By Bronwyn Pettit, December 19, 2008
9. White House
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 5,408 times since then and 549 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.   5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   6, 7. submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.   8. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   9. submitted on , by Bronwyn Pettit of Luray, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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