“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Dickerson in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

White’s Ford

Crossing the Potomac


—Antietam Campaign 1862 —

White’s Ford Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Tom Fuchs, November 4, 2006
1. White’s Ford Marker
Inscription. A wing of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia commanded by Gen. James Longstreet, as well as part of Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry, crossed into Maryland just south of here on September 5-6, 1862. Other parts of the 40,000-man force, supported by 246 cannons, crossed elsewhere.

As the Confederates forded the Potomac River, regimental bands played “Maryland, My Maryland,” a poem written by James Ryder Randall after the Baltimore Riot of April 1861, and put to music by Jennie Cary of Baltimore. It was first sung to Confederate soldiers camped near Manassas, Virginia in July 1861, by Jeannie and her sister Hetty. An elite “Monument Street” girl in Baltimore, Hetty soon became the “reigning Belle of Richmond” and married Confederate Gen. John Pegram in December 1864. He was killed 3 weeks later.

Thou wilt not cower in the dust, / Maryland, my Maryland! / Thy beaming sword shall never rust, / Maryland, my Maryland!

From here, the troops and artillery marched north on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath to cross the Monocacy River over the Monocacy Aqueduct. The cavalry spread out south and east to screen the invading Confederate infantry from Union attack and posted companies at sites in an arc south of Frederick from Poolesville to New Market.
Erected by
White’s Ford Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, May 5, 2013
2. White’s Ford Marker
The corners of the marker have been broken off but the marker is still readable.
Maryland Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 11.675′ N, 77° 28.159′ W. Marker is near Dickerson, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Martinsburg Road 2.2 miles north of Whites Ferry Road (Maryland Route 107). Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dickerson MD 20842, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named White's Ford (approx. half a mile away); Linden Farm (approx. 1.1 miles away); Seneca Stone Barn (approx. 1.5 miles away); Springing Over the Monocacy (approx. 2.1 miles away); a different marker also named White’s Ford (approx. 2.1 miles away); Warren Historic Site (approx. 2.1 miles away); Monocacy Aqueduct (approx. 2.2 miles away); Washington's Farm (approx. 2.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Dickerson.
Regarding White’s Ford. White’s Ford, an obscure crossing before the Civil War, was named after Captain Elijah Viers White, a Confederate cavalry officer and leader of the cavalry battalion known as the Comanches. His farm was on the Virginia side of the ford. He purchased and ran White’s Ferry after the war.
A Scout Takes Aim Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, May 5, 2013
3. A Scout Takes Aim
From the Maryland shore of the Potomac River, a Federal scout takes aim at Lee's Rebels as they wade across the river from Virginia.

Additional comments.
1. Maryland, My Maryland
by James Ryder Randall

The despot’s heel is on thy shore,
His torch is at thy temple door,
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
—Maryland! My Maryland!

Hark to an exiled son’s appeal,
My Mother State! to thee I kneel,
For life or death, for woe or weal,
Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
And gird they beauteous limbs with steel,
—Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Remember Carroll’s sacred trust,
Remember Howard’s warlike thrust,—
And all thy slumberers with the just,
—Maryland! My Maryland!

Come! ’tis the red dawn of the day,
Come with thy panoplied array,
With Ringgold’s spirit for the fray,
With Watson's blood at Monterey,
With fearless Lowe and dashing May,
—Maryland! My Maryland!

Come! for thy shield is bright and strong,
Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong,
Jackson's Men Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, May 5, 2013
4. Jackson's Men
Stonewall Jackson's men wading the Potomac River.
to thine own anointed throng,
Stalking with Liberty along,
And sing thy dauntless slogan song,
—Maryland! My Maryland!

Dear Mother! burst the tyrant’s chain,
Virginia should not call in vain,
She meets her sisters on the plain—
Sic semper! ’tis the proud refrain
That baffles minions back amain,
Arise in majesty again,
—Maryland! My Maryland!

I see the blush upon thy cheek,
For thou wast ever bravely meek,
But lo! there surges forth a shriek,
From hill to hill, from creek to creek,
Potomac calls to Chesapeake,
—Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll,
Thou wilt not crook to his control,
Better the fire upon thee roll, Better the shot, the blade, the bowl,
Than crucifixion of the Soul,
—Maryland! My Maryland!

I hear the distant thunder-hum,
The Old Line bugle, fife, and drum,
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb—
Huzza! She spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes! She burns! She’ll come! She’ll come!
—Maryland! My Maryland!
    — Submitted January
Map - You Are Here Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, September 15, 2012
5. Map - You Are Here
This small map has disappeared with the upper left corner of the marker.
13, 2007.

Categories. War, US Civil
Close Up of the Map Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, August 9, 2008
6. Close Up of the Map
White’s Ford Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, November 4, 2006
7. White’s Ford Marker
Marker is at the far end of the parking lot, facing away from the lot.
White’s Ford Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, August 9, 2008
8. White’s Ford
The Ford was about two-thirds of a mile south of the marker location, near the north end of Mason Island. In this view from the Maryland, the island is just out of frame to the left. The river here is clam, with a sandy bottom.
Today's C&O Canal at White's Ford Photo, Click for full size
By Tom Fuchs, November 4, 2006
9. Today's C&O Canal at White's Ford
Potomac River From the Maryland Bank Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 29, 2007
10. Potomac River From the Maryland Bank
Looking directly across from the Maryland side, from near the marker location. The historical ford was actually a bit further south, near the north end of Mason Island.
C&O Canal Lock Number 26 Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, November 3, 2007
11. C&O Canal Lock Number 26
This canal lock is located about two tenths of a mile south on the C&O Canal trail path from the parking lot (where the marker is).
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 4,026 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   6. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   7. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   8. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   9. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   10. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   11. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of the John Pelham Association Marker near ford. • Can you help?
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