Was It ‘The Fall Line’s Fault’?
In Wednesday’s New York Times, historical novelist Jean Huets assesses the impact of rocks, rivers and geography to the progress of the Civil War in Virginia.
“The great big Fall Line problem for Burnside was the Rappahannock River, which threads its way between Fredericksburg and Falmouth. The Rappahannock didn’t set out to foil the general. West of Fredericksburg, it flows as little more than a brisk, rocky stream, much as the James does west of Richmond. On escaping the hard, narrowing gorges of the Piedmont, the river spreads and deepens on the soft Tidewater. Shippers liked it; a general trying to get an army across it did not.”