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Fords: Botelers, Blackford, Packhorse

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  • eighth_conn_inf
    I have a Potomac River map from GMCO Pro Series of the Upper Potomac River from Dam 4 to Great Falls. Its Shepherdstown section shows two fords, one called
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 27 7:05 AM
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      I have a Potomac River map from GMCO Pro Series of the Upper Potomac
      River from Dam 4 to Great Falls. Its Shepherdstown section shows two
      fords, one called "Blackford Ford" at the Rumsey Bridge and the second
      named "Packhorse Ford" about 6,000' (1 mi. +) below the Rumsey Bridge.
      It also shows an "Old Cement Mill" about 11,000' (c. 2 mi.) below the
      bridge across the Potomac from Millers Sawmill Road.

      Were there three fords there in use in 1862: Blackfords at the bridge,
      Packhorse a mile downstream and Botelers three miles downstream? Or is
      this map wrong?

      I remember reading recently that Stuart and some of his troopers when
      they crossed on the 19th into Maryland crossed at a different ford from
      the rest of the army closer to Shepherdstown because of congestion—
      perhaps they crossed at Packhorse? I assume that the obscure ford which
      Blackford found at which Hampton crossed was described as being above
      Shepherdstown was none of these--where was it?

      Larry F.
    • Stephen Recker
      In Dennis Frye s book he says they are all the same ford. IIRC it was called different things depending on which side of the river you were on or during which
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 27 1:59 PM
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        In Dennis Frye's book he says they are all the same ford. IIRC it was
        called different things depending on which side of the river you were
        on or during which historic period.

        Stephen


        On Sunday, April 27, 2008, at 10:05 AM, eighth_conn_inf wrote:

        > I have a Potomac River map from GMCO Pro Series of the Upper Potomac
        > River from Dam 4 to Great Falls. Its Shepherdstown section shows two
        > fords, one called "Blackford Ford" at the Rumsey Bridge and the second
        > named "Packhorse Ford" about 6,000' (1 mi. +) below the Rumsey Bridge.
        > It also shows an "Old Cement Mill" about 11,000' (c. 2 mi.) below the
        > bridge across the Potomac from Millers Sawmill Road.
        >
        > Were there three fords there in use in 1862: Blackfords at the bridge,
        > Packhorse a mile downstream and Botelers three miles downstream? Or is
        > this map wrong?
        >
        > I remember reading recently that Stuart and some of his troopers when
        > they crossed on the 19th into Maryland crossed at a different ford from
        > the rest of the army closer to Shepherdstown because of congestion�
        > perhaps they crossed at Packhorse? I assume that the obscure ford which
        > Blackford found at which Hampton crossed was described as being above
        > Shepherdstown was none of these--where was it?
        >
        > Larry F.
        >
        >

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • eighth_conn_inf
        Thanks Stephen, I know most books say that these names (and others) are all for the same ford at the cement mill but at this point I remain unconvinced that
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 27 4:12 PM
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          Thanks Stephen,

          I know most books say that these names (and others) are all for the
          same ford at the cement mill but at this point I remain unconvinced
          that there is only one useable ford in the Sheperdstown area since
          both Stuart and Hampton apparently used other fords on the 18th-19th.
          I saw in Dennis's book that statement on page 64. As we know, when
          the river is low, one may cross at many points but walking across is
          different than taking horses and wagons along.

          Larry

          --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, Stephen Recker <recker@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > In Dennis Frye's book he says they are all the same ford. IIRC it
          was
          > called different things depending on which side of the river you
          were
          > on or during which historic period.
          >
          > Stephen
          >
          >
          > On Sunday, April 27, 2008, at 10:05 AM, eighth_conn_inf wrote:
          >
          > > I have a Potomac River map from GMCO Pro Series of the Upper
          Potomac
          > > River from Dam 4 to Great Falls. Its Shepherdstown section shows
          two
          > > fords, one called "Blackford Ford" at the Rumsey Bridge and the
          second
          > > named "Packhorse Ford" about 6,000' (1 mi. +) below the Rumsey
          Bridge.
          > > It also shows an "Old Cement Mill" about 11,000' (c. 2 mi.) below
          the
          > > bridge across the Potomac from Millers Sawmill Road.
          > >
          > > Were there three fords there in use in 1862: Blackfords at the
          bridge,
          > > Packhorse a mile downstream and Botelers three miles downstream?
          Or is
          > > this map wrong?
          > >
          > > I remember reading recently that Stuart and some of his troopers
          when
          > > they crossed on the 19th into Maryland crossed at a different
          ford from
          > > the rest of the army closer to Shepherdstown because of
          congestion—
          > > perhaps they crossed at Packhorse? I assume that the obscure ford
          which
          > > Blackford found at which Hampton crossed was described as being
          above
          > > Shepherdstown was none of these--where was it?
          > >
          > > Larry F.
          > >
          > >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Stephen Recker
          I say that we all get together this summer and walk across the ford when it is low!? Stephen
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 27 5:16 PM
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            I say that we all get together this summer and walk across the ford
            when it is low!?

            Stephen

            On Sunday, April 27, 2008, at 07:12 PM, eighth_conn_inf wrote:

            > Thanks Stephen,
            >
            > I know most books say that these names (and others) are all for the
            > same ford at the cement mill but at this point I remain unconvinced
            > that there is only one useable ford in the Sheperdstown area since
            > both Stuart and Hampton apparently used other fords on the 18th-19th.
            > I saw in Dennis's book that statement on page 64. As we know, when
            > the river is low, one may cross at many points but walking across is
            > different than taking horses and wagons along.
            >
            > Larry
          • Thomas Clemens
            Larry, IIRC, the ford Hampton used was difficult and the water level was high, too high to be used by infantry. Too often the term ford and a place where a
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 28 7:09 AM
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              Larry,
              IIRC, the "ford" Hampton used was difficult and the water level was high, too high to be used by infantry. Too often the term "ford" and a place where a body of water can be waded are conflated into the same thing. They are quite different. A ford for military usage must possess at least three distinct characteristics: shallow enough for infantry to cross without endangering wetting their cartridge boxes, and moderate current so as not to sweep them off their feet; a firm bottom, bedrock is best, but boulders will obstruct wagons injure horses, sand or mud will allow vehicles to become stuck; and banks low enough to provide ease of entrance and egress for infantry and horse-drawn vehicles. These are what makes a ford usable. There are otehr shallow places where men on horseback, or even on foot can, in small groups wade a stream or river, but that does not make it a ford. Fords were located where much civilian traffic crossed streams and rivers. I agree with Dennis and many other sources that there was one ford, approx. 1.4 miles south of Shepherdstown, but that there may be other places to wade the river.
              Steve, if you and others decide to wade at the ford, do not repeat the mistake of many people, who think that the remains of the Cement Mill dam is the ford, it is not. The ford is several hundred yards downstream.



              Dr. Thomas G. Clemens
              Professor of History
              Hagerstown Community College




              >>> "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> 4/27/2008 7:12 PM >>>

              Thanks Stephen,

              I know most books say that these names (and others) are all for the
              same ford at the cement mill but at this point I remain unconvinced
              that there is only one useable ford in the Sheperdstown area since
              both Stuart and Hampton apparently used other fords on the 18th-19th.
              I saw in Dennis's book that statement on page 64. As we know, when
              the river is low, one may cross at many points but walking across is
              different than taking horses and wagons along.

              Larry

              --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, Stephen Recker <recker@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > In Dennis Frye's book he says they are all the same ford. IIRC it
              was
              > called different things depending on which side of the river you
              were
              > on or during which historic period.
              >
              > Stephen
              >
              >
              > On Sunday, April 27, 2008, at 10:05 AM, eighth_conn_inf wrote:
              >
              > > I have a Potomac River map from GMCO Pro Series of the Upper
              Potomac
              > > River from Dam 4 to Great Falls. Its Shepherdstown section shows
              two
              > > fords, one called "Blackford Ford" at the Rumsey Bridge and the
              second
              > > named "Packhorse Ford" about 6,000' (1 mi. +) below the Rumsey
              Bridge.
              > > It also shows an "Old Cement Mill" about 11,000' (c. 2 mi.) below
              the
              > > bridge across the Potomac from Millers Sawmill Road.
              > >
              > > Were there three fords there in use in 1862: Blackfords at the
              bridge,
              > > Packhorse a mile downstream and Botelers three miles downstream?
              Or is
              > > this map wrong?
              > >
              > > I remember reading recently that Stuart and some of his troopers
              when
              > > they crossed on the 19th into Maryland crossed at a different
              ford from
              > > the rest of the army closer to Shepherdstown because of
              congestion—
              > > perhaps they crossed at Packhorse? I assume that the obscure ford
              which
              > > Blackford found at which Hampton crossed was described as being
              above
              > > Shepherdstown was none of these--where was it?
              > >
              > > Larry F.
              > >
              > >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • eighth_conn_inf
              Thanks Tom, The map showing the other fords then is obviously wrong but maybe their locations as shallow areas is correct. They may be as you suggest just
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 28 9:06 AM
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                Thanks Tom,

                The map showing the other "fords" then is obviously wrong but maybe
                their locations as shallow areas is correct. They may be as you
                suggest just shallow areas suitable for wading but not passing an
                army. So there are shallow places at the bridge and downstream before
                the "real" ford at the mill which troops and troopers used. If we
                have another dry summer, it would be instructive to do them all, yes?

                Same thing in WPort--one main "real" ford and some shallow places?
                Larry F.

                --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens" <clemenst@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Larry,
                > IIRC, the "ford" Hampton used was difficult and the water level was
                high, too high to be used by infantry. Too often the term "ford" and
                a place where a body of water can be waded are conflated into the
                same thing. They are quite different. A ford for military usage
                must possess at least three distinct characteristics: shallow enough
                for infantry to cross without endangering wetting their cartridge
                boxes, and moderate current so as not to sweep them off their feet; a
                firm bottom, bedrock is best, but boulders will obstruct wagons
                injure horses, sand or mud will allow vehicles to become stuck; and
                banks low enough to provide ease of entrance and egress for infantry
                and horse-drawn vehicles. These are what makes a ford usable. There
                are otehr shallow places where men on horseback, or even on foot can,
                in small groups wade a stream or river, but that does not make it a
                ford. Fords were located where much civilian traffic crossed streams
                and rivers. I agree with Dennis and many other sources that there
                was one ford, approx. 1.4 miles south of Shepherdstown, but that
                there may be other places to wade the river.
                > Steve, if you and others decide to wade at the ford, do not repeat
                the mistake of many people, who think that the remains of the Cement
                Mill dam is the ford, it is not. The ford is several hundred yards
                downstream.
                >
                >
                >
                > Dr. Thomas G. Clemens
                > Professor of History
                > Hagerstown Community College
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > >>> "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> 4/27/2008 7:12 PM >>>
                >
                > Thanks Stephen,
                >
                > I know most books say that these names (and others) are all for the
                > same ford at the cement mill but at this point I remain unconvinced
                > that there is only one useable ford in the Sheperdstown area since
                > both Stuart and Hampton apparently used other fords on the 18th-
                19th.
                > I saw in Dennis's book that statement on page 64. As we know, when
                > the river is low, one may cross at many points but walking across
                is
                > different than taking horses and wagons along.
                >
                > Larry
                >
                > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, Stephen Recker <recker@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > In Dennis Frye's book he says they are all the same ford. IIRC it
                > was
                > > called different things depending on which side of the river you
                > were
                > > on or during which historic period.
                > >
                > > Stephen
                > >
                > >
                > > On Sunday, April 27, 2008, at 10:05 AM, eighth_conn_inf wrote:
                > >
                > > > I have a Potomac River map from GMCO Pro Series of the Upper
                > Potomac
                > > > River from Dam 4 to Great Falls. Its Shepherdstown section
                shows
                > two
                > > > fords, one called "Blackford Ford" at the Rumsey Bridge and the
                > second
                > > > named "Packhorse Ford" about 6,000' (1 mi. +) below the Rumsey
                > Bridge.
                > > > It also shows an "Old Cement Mill" about 11,000' (c. 2 mi.)
                below
                > the
                > > > bridge across the Potomac from Millers Sawmill Road.
                > > >
                > > > Were there three fords there in use in 1862: Blackfords at the
                > bridge,
                > > > Packhorse a mile downstream and Botelers three miles
                downstream?
                > Or is
                > > > this map wrong?
                > > >
                > > > I remember reading recently that Stuart and some of his
                troopers
                > when
                > > > they crossed on the 19th into Maryland crossed at a different
                > ford from
                > > > the rest of the army closer to Shepherdstown because of
                > congestion—
                > > > perhaps they crossed at Packhorse? I assume that the obscure
                ford
                > which
                > > > Blackford found at which Hampton crossed was described as being
                > above
                > > > Shepherdstown was none of these--where was it?
                > > >
                > > > Larry F.
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Thomas Clemens
                Probably so, but I have not looked at the river in depth (please pardon that awful pun). It would be fun to do some wading in late summer when the water is
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 28 10:12 AM
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                  Probably so, but I have not looked at the river in depth (please pardon that awful pun). It would be fun to do some wading in late summer when the water is low and also warmer. Be sure to wear water shoes, some of the rocks are sharp, to say nothing of the trash that liters the bottom.


                  >>> "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> 4/28/2008 12:06 PM >>>

                  Thanks Tom,

                  The map showing the other "fords" then is obviously wrong but maybe
                  their locations as shallow areas is correct. They may be as you
                  suggest just shallow areas suitable for wading but not passing an
                  army. So there are shallow places at the bridge and downstream before
                  the "real" ford at the mill which troops and troopers used. If we
                  have another dry summer, it would be instructive to do them all, yes?

                  Same thing in WPort--one main "real" ford and some shallow places?
                  Larry F.

                  --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens" <clemenst@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Larry,
                  > IIRC, the "ford" Hampton used was difficult and the water level was
                  high, too high to be used by infantry. Too often the term "ford" and
                  a place where a body of water can be waded are conflated into the
                  same thing. They are quite different. A ford for military usage
                  must possess at least three distinct characteristics: shallow enough
                  for infantry to cross without endangering wetting their cartridge
                  boxes, and moderate current so as not to sweep them off their feet; a
                  firm bottom, bedrock is best, but boulders will obstruct wagons
                  injure horses, sand or mud will allow vehicles to become stuck; and
                  banks low enough to provide ease of entrance and egress for infantry
                  and horse-drawn vehicles. These are what makes a ford usable. There
                  are otehr shallow places where men on horseback, or even on foot can,
                  in small groups wade a stream or river, but that does not make it a
                  ford. Fords were located where much civilian traffic crossed streams
                  and rivers. I agree with Dennis and many other sources that there
                  was one ford, approx. 1.4 miles south of Shepherdstown, but that
                  there may be other places to wade the river.
                  > Steve, if you and others decide to wade at the ford, do not repeat
                  the mistake of many people, who think that the remains of the Cement
                  Mill dam is the ford, it is not. The ford is several hundred yards
                  downstream.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Dr. Thomas G. Clemens
                  > Professor of History
                  > Hagerstown Community College
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > >>> "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> 4/27/2008 7:12 PM >>>
                  >
                  > Thanks Stephen,
                  >
                  > I know most books say that these names (and others) are all for the
                  > same ford at the cement mill but at this point I remain unconvinced
                  > that there is only one useable ford in the Sheperdstown area since
                  > both Stuart and Hampton apparently used other fords on the 18th-
                  19th.
                  > I saw in Dennis's book that statement on page 64. As we know, when
                  > the river is low, one may cross at many points but walking across
                  is
                  > different than taking horses and wagons along.
                  >
                  > Larry
                  >
                  > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, Stephen Recker <recker@>
                  > wrote:
                  > >
                  > > In Dennis Frye's book he says they are all the same ford. IIRC it
                  > was
                  > > called different things depending on which side of the river you
                  > were
                  > > on or during which historic period.
                  > >
                  > > Stephen
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > On Sunday, April 27, 2008, at 10:05 AM, eighth_conn_inf wrote:
                  > >
                  > > > I have a Potomac River map from GMCO Pro Series of the Upper
                  > Potomac
                  > > > River from Dam 4 to Great Falls. Its Shepherdstown section
                  shows
                  > two
                  > > > fords, one called "Blackford Ford" at the Rumsey Bridge and the
                  > second
                  > > > named "Packhorse Ford" about 6,000' (1 mi. +) below the Rumsey
                  > Bridge.
                  > > > It also shows an "Old Cement Mill" about 11,000' (c. 2 mi.)
                  below
                  > the
                  > > > bridge across the Potomac from Millers Sawmill Road.
                  > > >
                  > > > Were there three fords there in use in 1862: Blackfords at the
                  > bridge,
                  > > > Packhorse a mile downstream and Botelers three miles
                  downstream?
                  > Or is
                  > > > this map wrong?
                  > > >
                  > > > I remember reading recently that Stuart and some of his
                  troopers
                  > when
                  > > > they crossed on the 19th into Maryland crossed at a different
                  > ford from
                  > > > the rest of the army closer to Shepherdstown because of
                  > congestion—
                  > > > perhaps they crossed at Packhorse? I assume that the obscure
                  ford
                  > which
                  > > > Blackford found at which Hampton crossed was described as being
                  > above
                  > > > Shepherdstown was none of these--where was it?
                  > > >
                  > > > Larry F.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Stephen Recker
                  We won t make that mistake because you re coming with us, right!? Stephen
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 28 2:10 PM
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                    We won't make that mistake because you're coming with us, right!?

                    Stephen

                    On Monday, April 28, 2008, at 10:09 AM, Thomas Clemens wrote:

                    > Steve, if you and others decide to wade at the ford, do not repeat the
                    > mistake of many people, who think that the remains of the Cement Mill
                    > dam is the ford, it is not. The ford is several hundred yards
                    > downstream.
                  • Thomas Clemens
                    Yeah, if the timing works out, I d like to. Maybe even see if Bomber can wade across too. ... We won t make that mistake because you re coming with us,
                    Message 9 of 9 , Apr 28 2:27 PM
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                      Yeah, if the timing works out, I'd like to. Maybe even see if Bomber can wade across too.


                      >>> Stephen Recker <recker@...> 4/28/2008 5:10 PM >>>

                      We won't make that mistake because you're coming with us, right!?

                      Stephen

                      On Monday, April 28, 2008, at 10:09 AM, Thomas Clemens wrote:

                      > Steve, if you and others decide to wade at the ford, do not repeat the
                      > mistake of many people, who think that the remains of the Cement Mill
                      > dam is the ford, it is not. The ford is several hundred yards
                      > downstream.




                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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