Civil War: The First Use Of A Torpedo
N 38° 22.992 W 077° 19.220
18S E 297332 N 4250882
Quick Description: In the early days of the Civil War, Confederates used a torpedo or water mine against the U.S. Navy while defending Aquia Landing in Stafford VA
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 7/26/2009 7:29:16 PM
Waymark Code: WM6W6Y
Aquia Landing served as the terminus for the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad and was an important rail-to-steamboat connection for travel between Richmond, VA and Washington, D.C. Soon after Virginia seceded from the nation in 1861, Confederate forces set up a defense with artillery to prevent the Union from taking possession of this port.
During the battles with the U.S. Navy, Confederates used the first torpedo. They attached explosives to two barrels, lit the fuse, and sent it floating to the Union gunboats. A soldier spotted it, but the attempt was unsuccessful because the fuse had gotten wet and gone out.
A historical marker at the entrance of what is now a waterfront park proclaims in part:
The first use of nautical mines (”torpedoes”) in the war occurred here on 7 July 1861 against the U.S.S. Pawnee.
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