Arlington in Arlington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Erected by Arlington County, Virginia.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Bridges & Viaducts. A significant historical year for this entry is 1797.
Location. 38° 55.768′ N, 77° 6.998′ W. Marker is in Arlington, Virginia, in Arlington County. Marker is at the intersection of North Glebe Road (State Highway 120) and Chain Bridge Road (State Highway 123), on the right when traveling north on North Glebe Road. Located Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Arlington VA 22207, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Mouth of Pimmit Run (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pimmit Run and Chain Bridge (about 600 feet away); Clay and Randolph Duel (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fort Ethan Allen—What to Look For (approx. half a mile away); Communications along the Defensive Line (approx. half a mile away); Lives of the Soldiers (approx. half a mile away); Protecting the Fort (approx. half a mile away); The View in 1865 (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arlington.
More about this marker. The best way to see the marker, and the Virginia side of the bridge is to park at a wayside area just to the west, where 41st Street North intersects Glebe Road (under the overpass of George Washington Parkway). From there one can walk a trail under the bridge where Glebe Road passes Pimmit Run. The trail leads to the mouth of the creek, and a side path scales up the embankment to the markers. There is a small pull-off on the west bound lane of Glebe Road opposite the marker, but is dangerous to access on most days.
Also see . . .
1. Civil War Fortifications. During the Civil War, since the Chain Bridge offered an direct avenue for Confederate raiders based in Northern Virginia (particularly around Loudoun County) into the nation's capital, the approaches to the bridge were well guarded. Reprints from Harper's Weekly displayed at this link illustrate the fortifications built at the entrances to the bridge. (Submitted on November 5, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Lincoln and the "Sleeping Sentinel". Private William Scott was sentenced to death by firing squad after he was found guilty of falling asleep at his post guarding the Chain Bridge in the summer of 1861. As legend has it, President Lincoln was so moved (Submitted on November 5, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
3. Union Balloon Corps Used the Bridge. Lacking a gas source on the Virginia side, Thaddeus Lowe was forced to inflate the first balloons used in military history at the Washington Navy Yard. The inflated balloon was then towed, by hand, to the vicinity of Falls Church, crossing the Potomac over the Chain Bridge. All told the movement took some eight hours. (Submitted on November 5, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
1. Notable Civil War death at Chain Bridge
Captain James W. Lingenfelter of Co. A, 71st Pennsylvania Infantry, was the first Union officer from Oregon killed in the Civil War. He was killed while on duty at Chain Bridge on September 21, 1861. Prior to the war, he practiced law at Jacksonville, Oregon, and was acclaimed as one of the great orators of the region.
Lingenfelter joined Oregon U.S. Senator Edward D. Baker when Baker formed the 1st California Regiment at the start of the Civil War, later re-designated the 71st
— Submitted August 31, 2011, by K.C. Piccard of Portland, Oregon.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 30, 2018. It was originally submitted on November 5, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,558 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 5, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3, 4. submitted on January 12, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 5, 6. submitted on November 5, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 7. submitted on January 12, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 8, 9. submitted on November 5, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.