Packhorse Ford/Boteler’s Ford
Less than a mile from Shepherdstown, West Virginia is a shallow point of the Potomac River that was a convenient crossing point between West Virginia and Maryland for Civil War soldiers from both the North and South. Known by four different names – Packhorse Ford, Wagon Road Ford, Shepherdstown Ford, and Boteler’s Ford – it was most commonly known as Packhorse Ford.
Having several names was very common during this time but Packhorse Ford became better known as Boteler’s Ford when Boteler’s Mill was constructed just upstream.
Though both armies made frequent use of the ford, the most famous crossing came in September 1862 around the Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg. The bloodiest single day in American military history ended with General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of a northern state.
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