The lower crossing: we have a date

From John Hennessy:


Men of the Union Sixth Corps on the heights above the Lower Crossing,1863.

For those of you interested, we have managed to set a date and arranged access for an exploration of the lower crossing site–where three times parts of the Union army crossed the river.  Saturday May 21–specific time yet to be determined. Spotsylvania County has been integral in arranging this, as has one of the businesses adjacent to the site of the crossing. So far as we know, this is the first time since veterans visited that any group has been over the ground for historical purposes. It will be high spring, so we can expect all the unpleasantries of hacking through Virginia woodlands at that time of year–ticks, poison ivy–so please know that in advance. Know too that though the walk will not be long, the ground we’re covering is anything but improved; the ground is rough, some slopes are fairly steep.



One of the most famous images of the Civil War, taken near the lower crossing.

The Lower Crossing is, photographically, likely the most heavily documented site on the four battlefields around Fredericksburg. Our visit there on May 21 will explore the landscape as it relates to images. Eric and I have been there only once, so no doubt we will be all discovering some things together.


We have written a fair amount about the Lower Crossing site; check out our posts here, here, and here. Rest assured we’ll be writing a bit more in advance of the tour on May 21.  We’ll also provide some more specifics about the tour.

So that we can have a sense of how many people are likely to show up, we’d be grateful if you’d let me know if you plan to attend.  You can email me at

We look forward to seeing and meeting some of you on May 21.

One thought on “The lower crossing: we have a date

  1. It would give me the greatest pleasure to travel to Fredericksburg and join you all from Poughkeepsie, NY. I will intently watch for your reports and analysis after May 21. It would be inspirational if there was any way to restore Franklin’s Crossing and part of the east side as well of this area of the Rappahannock River.

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