Bridgewater, Historic River Crossing, 1862 Valley Campaign

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S. Main St. and W. Riverside Dr.
Bridgewater, VA 22812
Region Shenandoah Valley
Locality Rockingham

Inscription reads: "After his victory at the Battle of McDowell on May 8, 1862, Gen. Stonewall Jackson made plans to attack another Federal force in the Shenandoah Valley. Earlier he had ordered Col. John D. Imboden to burn the bridges at Mount Crawford and Bridgewater to keep another union army from capturing Staunton while he fought in Highland County. When his army arrived here on Sunday, May 18, Capt. Claiborne Mason's black pioneers were erecting a makeshift bridge using farm wagons parked in the river." Jackson and part of his staff attended a religious service in the field across the river to your right front. The Rev. Maj. Robert Dabney, Jackson's chief-of-staff, preached to Col. Zephaniah T. Conner's brigade of Virginia and Georgia infantry from the text: "Come unto me, all that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." As the army began crossing the river, Jackson, his staff, Conner, and Capt. (later Gen.) Robert D. Lilley had a midday meal at the brick home of George Gibbon, .3 mile southwest on the left side of the turnpike. On October 7, 1864, Gen. Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry division (commanded by Gen. Thomas L. Rosser) crossed here while pursuing Gen. George A. Custer's Union cavalry division. In 1863, the trustees of the Warm Springs Turnpike asked Imboden if they could be reimbursed for the destroyed bridge. They never received compensation from either the Confederate or United States governments.

Last Updated: 7/20/2011 2:43 PM
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