On Sunday, March 12, the Lovettsville Historical Society will continue its 2017 Lecture Series with a presentation by historian Tim Snyder on the role of the C&O Canal during the opening phase of the Civil War.
One week after secessionists fired upon Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, Confederate forces seized the U.S. federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Some of these Confederates then undertook to seize a boatload of grain being shipped from Charles F. Wenner’s warehouse in Berlin (Brunswick) to Georgetown. On April 24, at Point of Rocks, the Confederates forcibly boarded Wenner’s canal boat and seized his grain – triggering a protest and demand for compensation issued by the Governor of Maryland to the Governor of Virginia. Eventually, Virginia did compensate Wenner, who happened to be a Lovettsville native.
Tim Snyder, author of Trembling in the Balance: the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal during the Civil War, plus many articles in Maryland historical journals, will explore the importance of navigation along the C&O Canal before and during the Civil War. He will also discuss how the C&O Canal became an object of contention between the Union and Confederate Armies early in the war.
The program will be held at St. James United Church of Christ, 10 East Broad Way in Lovettsville, at 2:00 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome to defray expenses of the program and to support the activities of the Lovettsville Historical Society.