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Piney Point in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Piney Point Lighthouse

The Potomac Flotilla

 
 
Piney Point Lighthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, July 1, 2008
1. Piney Point Lighthouse Marker
Inscription. In 1861, the U. S. created the Potomac Flotilla (gunboats and other armed vessels) to patrol the river and intercept Confederate blockade runners. Nevertheless, St. Mary's County residents frequently ferried supplies and men across to Virginia. A Unionist steamboat captain noted the difficulties the Federal navy faced:
"I was coming up the river on Wednesday last: a flag was raised on Piney Point Lighthouse and I went in. Mrs. Marshall, the keeper of the light, wished me to report that five or six loads of rebels crossed the river into Virginia with provisions, etc.: that there was $10,000 worth of goods, ammunition, clothing, etc. in the woods just above the lighthouse to be carried over. Men came to her every day and asked her if any of the U. S. cutters were about, and told her she had better keep away as they intended to destroy the lighthouse. The rebels have a small steamer in the creek just above Ragged Point which they brought from Fredericksburg."

(sidebar) On November 11, 1864, U. S. S. Tulip, a two-year-old gunboat, left the Potomac Flotilla base at St. Inigoes for the navy shipyards in Washington, D. C. to repair her starboard steam boiler. Although her captain had been ordered not to use the boiler, he fired it up to hurry past Confederate forces on the Virginia shore. At 6:20 p. m., passing Piney
Piney Point Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, July 1, 2008
2. Piney Point Lighthouse
Point Lighthouse, the boiler exploded and the gunboat sank immediately. Only 10 crewmen of 57 survived. In 1994, Maryland Maritime Archaeology Program divers located the wreck, beginning two years of artifact recovery.

(caption for photograph on sidebar) U. S. S. Tulip and her sister ship Fuchsia were built by master shipwright James C. Jewitt in New York City in 1862. They were described as "having all the modern appliances of warships.

(caption for photo in lower right of marker) Piney Point Lighthouse and Bell Tower, circa 1900.
 
Erected by Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 8.154′ N, 76° 31.748′ W. Marker is in Piney Point, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker is on Lighthouse Road. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Piney Point MD 20674, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Potomac River Military Testing (here, next to this marker); Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Piney Point Lighthouse (here, next to this
Piney Point Lighthouse and Bell Tower, circa 1900 image. Click for full size.
circa 1900
3. Piney Point Lighthouse and Bell Tower, circa 1900
Close-up of photo on marker
marker); Bay Lights (here, next to this marker); Natural Highways (here, next to this marker); Osprey (here, next to this marker); Map of Lower Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Piney Point Lighthouse (here, next to this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Piney Point.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. These Markers discuss the Tulip Disaster and the Potomac Flotilla
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
The Fuschia image. Click for full size.
4. The Fuschia
U. S. S. Tulip and her sister ship Fuchsia were built by master shipwright James C. Jewitt in New York City in 1862. They were described as "having all the modern appliances of warships."
Close-up of photo on marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 903 times since then and 2 times this year. Last updated on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   3, 4. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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