Rowser's Ford: 5,000 Confederate Cavalrymen Crossed

Rileys Lock Road south of River Road, Poolesville, MD 20837

Rowser's Ford: 5,000 Confederate Cavalrymen Crossed

History: On the night of June 24, 1863, five thousand cavalrymen crossed into Maryland at Rowser's Ford, cutting between the Union army and Washington. By 3 a.m. on Sunday, June 28, they had crossed the rain-swollen river without alerting residents. General J.E.B. Stuart seized the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal between Locks 23 and 24, hoping to disrupt commerce and an important Federal supply line. At least a dozen boats with Union soldiers and grain were captured, nine of them were burned, and the wooden gates to Lock 23 and Guard Lock 2 were damaged, causing that section of the canal to drain. The canal was not operational again until June 30.

More to Explore: The Seneca Schoolhouse Museum was built in 1865 of Seneca sandstone and operated as a one-room schoolhouse until 1910.A carefully researched 19th-century school day program is taught by a costumed teacher. The museum is available for field trips. Poolesville also offers golf courses for a relaxing diversion.

Photo Credits:

  1. “Drawing of the General Lee’s army crossing the Potomac River near Rowser’s Ford.”
  2. "Fairfax Court House, Va. House Used as a Headquarters by Gen. G. B. McClellan and Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard." Prints courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.