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[TalkAntietam] Re: Fords: Botelers, Blackford, Packhorse

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  • 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 1 of 9 , Apr 28, 2008
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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 2 of 9 , Apr 28, 2008
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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 3 of 9 , Apr 28, 2008
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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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