Stafford’s “Confederate Year” refers to the first year of the war. It was directly connected to Virginia’s strategic preparations for defense. Put into effect with the state’s secession in mid-April 1861, the defenses were integrated with the introduction of Confederate Troops from other Southern States. This significant year of the war included:
— Virginia Provisional Army and Navy occupation April-June 1861.
— A shore-based artillery blockade of Union naval and merchant shipping along the Potomac River, centered from Stafford’s Aquia Landing north to Mount Vernon and south into King George County. The first shore-to-ship naval engagement of the war and the first use of naval mines took place at Aquia Landing.
— Establishment of the first Virginia Secret Service “Secret Line” from Aquia Creek and Potomac Creek into southern Maryland. This would be taken over by the Confederacy. — Forming and training Virginia infantry regiments and training Confederate infantry regiments along the Rappahannock Line.
— Moving Stafford industries, products and refugees to the interior.