U.S. At War: Brinckerhoff's Last Trip

On New Year's Eve, a little group of men gathered on the river bank at Poughkeepsie. Some of them were oldtime rivermen. Others were just old inhabitants of Poughkeepsie or from Highland, across the river—men who had ridden the Poughkeepsie ferry countless times, like their grandfathers and great-grandfathers before them.

The side-wheeler Brinckerhoff, veteran of 41 years on the Hudson River, carried the quiet group through the river-damp darkness, across the stream and back. Its searchlight picked out Poughkeepsie's Main Street. Its steel-hooped sides girded against the groaning wooden racks. The Poughkeepsie ferry,...

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