Monday, September 10, 2012

September 1862 - Big events in the Civil War

150 years ago this month big things happened in the Civil War. The Battle of Antietam, which was the bloodiest day in American history, was fought near Sharpsburg MD on September 17th. On September 22, in the wake of the modest Union victory at Antietam, President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation. From that point on, the Union mission was the freedom of all people in America, rather than just the number of stars on the flag. This gave the war a different and much greater significance than it had had in the first year.

Before the battle could take place, the Confederate Army would need to cross the Potomac River from Virginia to Maryland. The person most involved in selecting the place to cross was Col. Elijah White. Below is a recently found letter from White about the crossing writen years after the war.

Today the property on the Virginia side where the crossing took place is owned by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and will be open to the public next Spring as White's Ford Regional Park.

White is in the front row holding the sword


Of Leesburg VA

Leesburg VA June 2, 1896

Gen. E. A. Carman

My Dear Gen.,

Answering your letter of May 25. Sorry I can give no information as to Munford’s Cavalry Brigade Sept. 17th, I was not at the battle of Antietam. But I can speak positively about where Gen. Lee crossed into Maryland Sept. 1862. It was White’s Ford. The night before crossing Gen. Jackson’s Headquarters was at Big Spring, house of “Washington Ball” two miles NE of Leesburg on Leesburg & Pot. Of Rocks road. Gen. Lee’s at the house of Henry T. Harrison, Leesburg, VA. By order of Gen. Jackson I went with him to Gen. Lee that night at which time they determined on the march for the next day. Gen. Jackson wanted me to go in front the next day, I did so, crossed at White’s Ford on my own at that time. Camped the next night near Three Springs Frederick Co. Md.

I will mention here one of Gen. Jackson’s peculiarities. He ordered me to attend him, starting a little after dark. He rode over the road we march[ed] that day nearly back to the Potomac River, then back to camp again—not speaking a word.

Would be glad to furnish you any information in my power, Can give information about Leesburg.

Most Resp’y, E.V. White

No comments: