Edward's Ferry

Edward's Ferry Road, Poolesville, MD 20837

Edward's Ferry: Strategic Crossing

History: The Edward's Ferry area had been a strategic river crossing, since June 1861, when Union troops first camped here. During the Gettysburg Campaign, fatefully, both armies would cross the Potomac River near here. General Joseph Hooker's Army of the Potomac crossed on two pontoon bridges on June 25 - 27, 1863, on the way to Gettysburg. Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's cavalrymen had crossed into Maryland at Violettes Lock. Then on June 28, they burned 15 barges in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal that were loaded with government stores, and captured mules and men working the barges near here. Near Edward's Ferry, the Federals continued to suffer surprise Confederate attacks throughout the war.

More to Explore: Edward's Ferry is now within the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, which offers a boat ramp to access the wide, slow-moving warm waters of the Potomac. If boating or fishing isn’t your pleasure, pack your bikes and a picnic lunch and take a ride or walk on the C & O Canal Towpath Trail. This trail provides a gentle grade and parallels the Potomac River, stretching southeast to Georgetown in Washington, D.C. and northwest to Cumberland, MD.

Photo Credits:

  1. "Drawing on tan paper of army marching across pontoon bridges."
  2. "Drawing of Union soldiers trying to keep Professor Lowe's balloon from blowing away during a storm."
  3. "Stereograph of Professor Thaddeus S. Lowe observing a battle from his "Intrepid" balloon, while soldiers hold the ropes."
  4. "View on the docks, after explosion of the ordnance barges, City Point, Virginia" Prints courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.