Canal Quarters Welcomes Guests from the Past
By Heidi Glatfelter Schlag for The Canal Quarterly, Summer 2018
Photo by Don Street
It was brutally hot the last week of June. If you thought you saw Civil War soldiers milling around Lockhouse 25 at Edwards Ferry, you probably assumed the heat was causing you to hallucinate. But in fact, Civil War soldiers made this Canal Quarters lockhouse their home for a night during their five-day march from Whites Ferry to Gettysburg, PA.
From June 27 to July 2, 2018, about 15 Civil War re-enactors re-created the 6th Corps’ 1863 march from the Potomac River to what would become the Battle of Gettysburg. They were under Union General John Sedgwick when they undertook what is considered to be one of the most extraordinary marches of the Civil War.
The men on the 2018 march traveled from Whites Ferry to Edwards Ferry, to Clarksburg via Poolesville, to Taylorsville via Mount Airy, to Manchester via Westminster, and finally arrived in Gettysburg after marching through Union Mills and Littlestown.
The evening they arrived at Lockhouse 25, they encountered several women from the Atlantic Guard Soldiers Aid Society. “We tried to recreate the experience of a family at the lockhouse coping with the unexpected arrival of military during a time of war,” explained Society member Faith Hintzen.
Wilson LeCount was one of the troops who marched the 92 miles, and he was appreciative of the food and hospitality awaiting him at Lockhouse 25. “The building was really neat,” he explained, “and I loved the display you had in there, with great photos of Whites Ferry and the history of the canal.”
“The march itself was really a great experience. After marching those 92 miles, we gained so much respect for the original cast. While we were able to go home and take showers and relax, they had to do that for 4 years,” Wilson reflected. “We were lucky enough to be able to use bandaids, moleskin, and other twenty-first century medical supplies. I can’t imagine marching for months at a time without any of those things to help us out.”
Whether you live in the nineteenth century or the twenty-first, you can create your own memories in our six Canal Quarters lockhouses. Each lockhouse is available for overnight stays, sleeping up to eight people. Furnished in different time periods depicting the canal’s history, you can feel like you have stepped back in time, even if you are wearing modern clothing. Visit www.CanalTrust. org/quarters for more information and to book your stay.