White’s Ferry/Ford and the Maryland Campaign

We took a break today from our isolation to make our first trip over the Potomac River between Virginia and Maryland using Whites Ferry.  The Virginia side is located just outside Leesburg, VA, and a ferry has been operating in the general area since 1817.  This is the last operating ferry on the river between the two states.

Soon after the Civil War a Confederate officer named Elijah White (thus the name) purchased the boat then operating and named it after his former commander Jubal Early.  The current owners have purchased two boats over the years for the operation, each time naming it after Early because, they say, of that general’s “rebellious, no surrender attitude.”  (I guess someone forgot to tell them that Early had surrendered, but oh well).

About a mile north, at White’s Ford, Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia forded the Potomac in early September 1862 to begin the Maryland campaign.

Below are pictures of the current boat, and placards describing Whites Ferry and Whites Ford.

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Author: geneofva

Author of "Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era," and of the upcoming "Lincoln, Antietam, and a Northern Lost Cause."

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