Raids, invasions, and blocked passage were not the only concerns
For gunfire ranged up and down the canal throughout the war.
Being near the border between the two warring sides
Was a hazard for those who on the water relied.
What was worse, there were times when the shots were intended
When the South attempted to deter boating progress
Causing the men trying to make a living impossible stress
A cruel method of control that put loyalties to the test.
With such directions, Confederates were forced to take aim
Hoping the transport to maim.
Just how serious were they meant to be?
That is unknown because direct orders have not made it through history.
During times of battle were the worst
Because there was no way to know when fighting would start
And there were times when boats would be surprised
As they traveled unaware of skirmish going on by the two sides.
On one cruel day in September 1861
A tragic misfortune claimed the life of a boy
Who worked on a boat close to Shepherdstown at the time.
A fight across the river accidentally took his life, with no reason or rhyme.