From John Hennessy:
Last weekend I had the great pleasure to be invited to explore some great sites along the Rapidan in both Culpeper and Orange Counties. Brett Johnson, who lives near Rapidan, and Walker Somerville, scion of the family that has owned land at Somerville Ford for three centuries, were the hosts. My thanks to them for a memorable day–they know the ground as only locals can, and many of the specifics included here were conveyed by them.
The purpose of this post is simply to provide a visual record of what we saw, without too much elaboration. If you have questions, feel free to ask in the comments. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who does.
Bear in mind that every site mentioned in this post is private property and generally not accessible to the public.
We started at Somerville Ford on the Rapidan River. Here, on August 20, 1862, the entirety of Jackson’s wing of Lee’s Army crossed to commence the Second Manassas campaign. Samuel Buck of the 13th VA crossed here that day:
The water was pretty deep but very pleasant to our warm bodies. As soon as we could get our trousers off we waded in, yelling like a lot of school boys. It is an interesting sight to see so many men crossing a river and most amusing to hear their witty remarks. Men under such circumstances are only grown children.
On September 14, 1863, Union and Confederate artillery engaged in fairly robust counter-battery fire here. Charles Furlow of the 4th Georgia (his diary is at Yale University) left a fair description. [More images beyond the jump.] Continue reading