Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The C&O Canal Really on the Border During the War

From the Dec, 6th Washington Post, by Carolyn Reader.

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal followed the Potomac River along the Maryland shore, putting it right in the path of both armies during the conflict. During the war, Union forces were routinely camped along the canal to keep Confederates from disrupting it.

There was a big fear that the banks would be cut and water drained out or the canal boats sunk as obstructions. The canal stretched 184 miles from Cumberland, Maryland to Georgetown. Boats carrying coal to be used on Union warships was carried in the canal boats as well as grain for horses and bread.

During December 1861, Confederate forces under Stonewall Jackson tried several times to destroy it by bombardment and even wading into the cold water to hack at it.

From Wikipedia. The C&O operated from 1831 to 1924 and used 74 locks to enable boats to travel the 605-foot elevation change. In addition, 150 culverts were constructed for smaller streams and 11 aqueducts for rivers (10 remain).

Something You Don't Think Of. --Old B-Runner

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