First ship-to-shore Naval Engagement of Civil War happened in Stafford

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Stafford's Confederate Year

First ship-to-shore Naval Engagement of Civil War happened in Stafford

On May 31, 1861, Stafford saw the first engagement of the Civil War between the U.S. Navy and the shore batteries of the Confederacy at Aquia Landing.  Prior to that date, the Confederates believed that Union forces might attack via the Potomac, and if they got control of Aquia Landing they could take over the RF&P Railroad. Therefore, the Confederates decided to set up artillery batteries, or groups of four to eight cannons, along the shore and in the hills surrounding the landing.  Buoys and markers on the Potomac, near the landing, were removed by Confederates to disorient Union forces.