July 23, 2013

Down by the Riverside

We took a Civil War tour today, which is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Wapping Heights. This was the last battle of the Gettysburg Campaign as Lee's army struggled to return to the Rappahannock after being defeated in Pennsylvania.

Here Patrick Farris lectures in front of Riverside, a historic home in Riverton, a community on the outskirts of Front Royal. Lee's army crossed the Shenandoah River near here on pontoon bridges that were put in place by the pioneers, the equivalent of today's Corps of Engineers. Historian Farris explained that Lee's pioneers were made up of free blacks, enslaved blacks, and white men. I was interested to hear this because there's a sign at Port Republic that refers to bridges constructed by Stonewall Jackson's African-American engineer troops, and someone who saw that on this web wrote to me asking if they were free or enslaved and at that time I did not know.
Riverside is privately owned. Earlier in the war it was used by Stonewall Jackson, who briefly headquartered here.


  1. Sounds like a fun tour! I love learning about history this way. :)

  2. i always find it sad when historical homes are privately owned...or maybe i'm just a little jealous!

  3. Wouldn't you love to see in that house?


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