Union and Confederate operations in the area

Share:

Pin It

Stafford's Confederate Year

Union and Confederate operations in the area

The combination of shore artillery bombardment, mines, and infantry, artillery and cavalry units along the Potomac effectively “blockaded” Washington in the early months of the war. The subsequent movement of Confederate forces below the Rappahannock promoted growth of the Federal Potomac Flotilla and its capability to patrol the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers out into the Chesapeake Bay. Army and Navy cooperation resulted and improved throughout the war; however, neither the Union Army or Navy ever fully grasped the extent, depth or subtlety of operations of the Confederate “Secret Lines.”

President Lincoln appreciated the navy in August of 1863. “Nor must Uncle Sam’s web-feet be forgotten. At all the watery margins they have been present. Not only on the deep sea, the broad bay, and the rapid river, but also up the narrow muddy bayou, and wherever the ground was a little damp they have been and made their tracks.”

(The above picture is one of the standard weapons of the U.S. Potomac Flotilla.  It is the Model 1860 Naval Cutlass.)