Some folks are night-owls who stay up late into the night and arise from their beds long after the day has begun. They do not know what beauty they have missed. The dawn of a new day is frequently a glorious sight.
Saturday morning is my time to greet the dawn, some times from the mountain tops and some times in the valleys. Soon I will meet the sunrise on the Chesapeake Bay but on this Saturday I met the dawn by the Potomac River.
This river holds particular significance in the history of our country for along much of its course it was the dividing line between the North and the South during our country’s Civil War. As I stood along the historic river I thought about the time many years ago when General Stonewall Jackson and his troops were deployed along the far bank with the artillery on the hills beyond. From their position they shelled Union positions in the small town of Hancock to the left of the photograph. The Confederates spent a day looking for a place where the troops could cross giving the Union time to bring up reinforcements. Stonewall; upon learning of the arrival of Union reinforcements withdrew his troops.
At another time it was learned that Pennsylvania’s Governor Curtain would be passing through nearby. A plot to kidnap the Governor was conceived and Confederate troops quietly crossed the river hiding in a culvert nearby. Their officer along with a small detachment went to do reconnaissance and ordered the remaining troops to remain hidden until their return. The men became restless and a few went out to do reconnaissance of their own. They discovered a cold storage business and stole some ice cream. Shortly after getting back to the culvert their commanding officer arrived. The men, not having ever seen ice cream before hid it under their hats where it quickly began to melt, running down their faces. The soldiers had been discovered, their plan foiled and they quickly returned across the river
The Tonoloway Primitive Baptist Church
This church, established in 1752 served as the Union hospital during the siege of Hancock. A few years ago restoration work began and as the wall paper was striped away a number of places were found on the wall where the wounded had written their names and the date of their stay.