On Sunday, I had the privilege of showing off the Virginia side of Edwards Ferry for Gettysburg Daily. I have not conducted a “tour” of this nature since facilitating staff rides when I was in the Army. So I was rusty in my presentation style. Bobby Housch suffered through several re-takes as I stumbled through my sentences. But in the end he coached me through, and we had enough video for a post or two on his site. I’m looking forward to see how it turns out!
One of the props I used for the tour was this time line:
Even after careful study of the events, I needed to visualize the traffic flow at the bridge site. So in true “techie” fashion, I worked up this time line in Visio. The center bar is the span of time from the morning of June 25, 1863 to midnight of June 27/28. On either side of that time bar are blocks depicting generally when each unit crossed. Above are the units crossing on the upper bridge; below are those crossing on the lower bridge.
Due to space constraints on the line, and vague data from first hand accounts, I did not use hourly time hacks for the crossing times. Furthermore the nighttime activities are compressed. As mentioned on my post regarding light data, the moon sat around midnight on each of the vital crossing nights. With no direct accounts alluding to activity on the bridge after midnight, I am left to assume traffic on the bridge tailed off at those times.
Derived from this time line I have a set of maps depicting the traffic flow at the bridge. For example, here’s my rough depiction of what must have been a terrible traffic jam around noon on June 26:
At that time, Slocum’s Twelfth Corps was completing the crossing and moving up the C&O Canal towpath. The Artillery Reserve was on the lower bridge completing their crossing. Army Headquarters arrived at the lower bridge and began to cross. Second Corps’ lead elements were moving up from Frankville on the Leesburg Pike. And Fifth Corps had moved up from Aldie to Leesburg.
I plan to post all these maps over the next few days, to better illustrate the traffic flow at the crossing site.