Whites’ Ford is located about 3 miles north of White’s Ferry, near Lock 2 on the C&O Canal on the Maryland side of the Potomac River.
White’s Ford was used in several major troop movements over the Potomac River in the Maryland and Antietam Campaigns.
In September 1862, as Gen. Lee began moving his army from Virginia through Loudoun on his way north for the Maryland campaign, he had Col. Tom Munford and the 2nd Virginia Cavalry cross White’s Ford to get to Poolesville, Maryland. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart made White’s Ford famous again as a crossing for the armies during the Antietam Campaign in October 1862.
In June 1864, Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early defeated Union forces at Monocacy, Maryland, and made his way toward Washington, D.C. but retreated when he heard Gen. Grant’s much larger army was arriving in the city. Maj. Gen. Early crossed into Loudoun County at White’s Ford and paused in Leesburg while Union forces began to converge.
The ford is named for Capt. Elijah V. White, a Confederate cavalry officer whose farm was on the Virginia side of the ford. A regional park to commemorate the area’s wartime significance is in the planning stages.