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Title:The Potomac Flotilla During the Civil War
Author(s):Getz, Lowell L.
Subject(s):Potomac Flotilla
Potomac River
Rappahannock River
Chesapeake Bay
Eastern River Blockade
Eastern River Blockade
Abstract:River gunboat activity in the Chesapeake Bay and adjoining rivers during the Civil War was primarily blockade duty. The Potomac Flotilla was established in mid April 1861 to carry out these duties. Gunboats assigned to the flotilla intercepted blockade runners moving goods in schooners, sloops, small vessels, and canoes from the north into Virginia. If the blockade runners had goods aboard, these were transferred to the Union vessels. The captured vessels were either put into use by the Union or destroyed. Landing parties were put ashore from the gunboats to capture or destroy facilities and supplies along the river, to capture livestock and rescue and transport “contrabands” (escaped slaves) to the north. There were a few instances where the gunboats were employed in the reduction of Confederate batteries along the rivers to ensure freedom of movement of Union vessels. Flotilla gunboats also were used to support Union Army operations along the rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. In this account, I detail the actions of the gunboats of the Potomac Flotilla from April 1861 through April 1865.
Issue Date:2021-01-14
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-01-15

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