Sunday, July 11, 2010
Related Lands - Confederate Works at Germanna Crossing
In late November 1863, during the opening days of the Mine Run Campaign, newspaper special artist Alfred Waud sketched Union troops exploring the newly abandoned Confederate fortifications overlooking the Germanna crossing of the Rapidan River. The crossing at Germanna dates back to the colonial-era as a major transportation route, and also served heavily throughout the Civil War as a crossing point on the Rapidan for both armies in the campaigns of 1863-1864. In the Waud sketch below, looking north, the Germanna Highway (Modern Route 3), can be seen in the middle distance. The similar, present day image below that, is taken from approximately where the soldier is standing on top of the parapet of an artillery redoubt (quad 7-3). The quad graphing was added to the original sketch for the newspaper engravers that prepared the image for publication. Click on the images to enlarge.
Approximate modern view, looking north toward Route 3.
From atop the redoubt, looking downhill toward the highway.
Western wall face of the artillery redoubts.
Looking northwest at about 300 degrees, along the south side of the Germanna Highway. The terminus of the long trench section stands in the shade at left foreground. The remains of these works are today on the campus of the Germanna Community College. Other remnants of earthworks can be found in the wooded area just north of the Germanna campus parking lot, but these are not as well maintained, and tend to get lost in the landscaping efforts around them.
An aerial photograph shows the trenches running through the woods at center. A sidewalk runs up to the area, alongside the College building.
An overall view of the area with the works outlined at lower right, above the main building of the Germanna Community College. The Germanna Ford crossing site is now obscured by the modern, double span bridge near top left. The site of Alexander Spotswood's Germanna Colony, circa 1714, is located in the woods on the north side of the highway, at center. Although it is now in Orange County, this was the location of Spotswood's manor house (1722-1750). Spotsylvania County derives its names from the former colonial Governor. The University of Mary Washington Department of Historic Preservation maintains a website about the Germanna Colony here.