Civil War Tour: Riding South into the Former Confederate States of America
Photography: James T. Parks
After the epic Battle of Gettysburg, General Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia cross back over the Potomac River into Virginia. Our tour group also heads south into Maryland and then across the Potomac into Virginia. As others have observed, getting there really is half the fun. The next two days of riding takes us along scenic back roads, through charming villages and to sites where pivotal Civil War events occurred.
Entering Maryland, we ride across the scenic farmland, roll over plank flooring in the dark coolness of Loy’s Station Covered Bridge, stop at the Shriver Homestead and watch a grist mill grind corn into cornmeal, have lunch in the quaint college town of Westminster, tour the Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick. The next day arrive on the banks of the Potomac River at historic White’s Ferry. Not far away is White’s Ford, where General Lee and other Confederates crossed the Potomac several times during the Civil War.
Soon after arriving in Virginia, we’re navigating through historic Leesburg, named after Virginia’s prominent Lee family, members of which also fought in the U.S. Revolutionary War. After a brief stop in the back-in-time town of Waterford, we ride up and over Mount Weather and stop for lunch at the English-style Hunters Head Tavern in Upperville, VA. Afterward, we tour the Manassas Battlefield, where two different engagements took place during the Civil War. After two days of riding we finally hold up in Fredericksburg, VA.