The North River, renamed the Maury River in the mid-20th Centrury, descends from the confluence of the Calfpasture and Little Calfpasture Rivers near Goshen and flows into the James River at Glasgow. Forty-three miles long all within Rockbridge County, this river provided access all the way to the Chesapeake Bay. When the canal system from Richmond to Lexington was completed in 1860, it provided economical transportation of goods and passage to travelers going east or coming west. After years of severe flooding, repairing the damage to the Glasgow-Lexington stretch of canal became too expensive to maintain and it was sold to the Richmond & Alleghany Railroad.
A packet boat that gained national recognition was The Marshall. It carried passengers from Richmond to Lynchburg, charging $8 for the 33 hour trip. It averaged approximately four miles per hour. There was a cook on board to prepare meals and there was separate lodging for men and women. In 1863 Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was shot at the Battle of Chancellorsville and died eight days later. The Marshall was used in the last leg of the journey on the James River from Lynchburg to Lexington, Virginia, to return him for burial