Crossing of the Dan

Crossing of the Dan

Firing across the river after the crossing

The crossing of the Dan River is an annual event held each February in South Boston, Virginia to commemorate the1781 crossing by General Nathanial Green and his army to get away from the British army. They succeeded in getting across by using two ferries and many batteaux which were then secured on the North side of the river so the British couldn’t use them. This maneuver was to buy them time to regroup and resupply. The crossing of the Dan is considered to be an important event in the Revolutionary War.

This February 18th and 19th, I joined David and Barbara Haney for the event. Because this was my first year attending on behalf of the VCNS, I didn’t know what to expect. I only had 6 Dan River atlases, which I brought with me, and they sold in about 10 minutes.

For many years, JRBF participants had provided batteaux to transport the reenactors across the river, then approximately 12 years ago, David Haney built a ferry to do the job. Funding for that was provided by the Sons of the American Revolution.

This event would benefit greatly from having batteaux return as participants to assist in moving the reenactors and their cannons and gear across the river. The crowd really looks forward to the tangible parts of the reenactment, especially the cannons. Having batteaux to add to the authenticity of the event should be a draw to bring more people there.