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Guard engineers have brush with Civil War history in training exercise on the Rappahannock
Guard engineers prepare floating bridge sections at Little Falls Run boat ramp in Stafford.
TOM ROTHENBERG FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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"When you get to the location, you build a few pieces at a time. You pick a side" and get started, said Sgt. Daniel Corbin of Bowling Green.
Early today, they'll build the bridge across the river to a spot on the Fredericksburg shore a few-hundred feet downstream from City Dock.
Onlookers on Friday gathered along the shore on both sides of the river to watch the project.
Among them was Carol Polkinghorne of Fairfax, in town for the weekend with the Dixie Rose Relief Society.
"It's a ladies' aid society, which shows what women and children were doing during the war," she said, standing on the Fredericksburg side. "This weekend, we'll probably be refugees running from Yankees."
On the Stafford side, Union re-enactors, surrounded by a gaggle of spectators, prepared two pontoon-boat replicas specially built to re-create the landing of the 89th New York Infantry Regiment. The replicas will be on display at Ferry Farm.
During the 1862 crossing, the New Yorkers paddled their pontoons across the river, while under fire, gaining a foothold for the floating bridges that followed.
Also helping with the weekend's events are about 30 volunteers with the Virginia Defense Force.
And 75 members of the Company A, 1st Battalion of the 69th Infantry of the Army National Guard of New York will rededicate the Irish Brigade Monument at City Dock.
They will stand alongside members of the Irish Defense Forces. Company A is in Virginia for training at Fort A.P. Hill.
Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431