“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Rocketts Landing

Confederate Navy Yard

Rocketts Landing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, January 3, 2016
1. Rocketts Landing Marker
Inscription. For centuries the James River served as a thoroughfare for vessels connecting Richmond to other ports along the Atlantic coast, South America and Europe. Here at Rocketts Landing, ships loaded and unloaded their cargoes as it was impossible to navigate the rapids farther up river.

At the outbreak of the war in 1861, the Confederate Navy assumed the daunting task of constructing, arming and manning a squadron of vessels to defend the capital city. The requirements of war quickly converted this commercial site into one of the busiest and most prolific navy yards in all the Confederacy.

During the spring of 1862, the increased demand for vessels required the opening of a second navy yard directly across the river. By 1865 the combined output of both yards included three ironclad warships and a fourth nearly finished. Four torpedo vessels and an unarmed ship also were built there.

Postwar view of Rocketts Landing, named for an 18th-century ferry operator.

The CSS Richmond, one of the vessels finished at Rocketts during the war. The Richmond, the Virginia II, the Fredericksburg and other support vessels comprised the James River Squadron that was headquartered at Rocketts and assigned to defend the Confederate capital. On April
Rocketts Landing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, January 3, 2016
2. Rocketts Landing Marker
2, 1865, the gunboats came to an undignified end during the evacuation of Richmond. The squadron's celebrated commander, Rear Adm. Raphael Semmes, ordered the destruction of all vessels. Remnants of the ironclads remain at the bottom of the river near Drewry's Bluff, eight miles south of here.

On April 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln and a small entourage came ashore at Rocketts Landing to begin their tour of the smoldering remains of the Confederate capital. After addressing a crowd of black citizens gathered near the river, the president headed from here to Main Street and downtown Richmond, eventually reaching the Union army commander's headquarters in the former White House of the Confederacy.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 37° 31.228′ N, 77° 25.003′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Wharf Street west of East Main Street (Virginia Route 5), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3101 Wharf Street, Richmond VA 23223, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Union Army Enters Richmond (about 500 feet away, measured
View of James River at Rocketts, Richmond, Va. image. Click for full size.
By Andrew J. Russell, circa April 1865
3. View of James River at Rocketts, Richmond, Va.
Library of Congress LC-DIG-ppmsca-34856
in a direct line); People-Technology-Commerce-Warfare (about 700 feet away); Crossing the Atlantic (about 700 feet away); Mechanics of Slavery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Despair of Slavery (approx. ¼ mile away); The Navy Yard of the Confederate States (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Rocketts Landing (approx. 0.3 miles away); Chimborazo Hospital (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
Categories. War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 3, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 472 times since then and 105 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 3, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   3. submitted on January 3, 2016.
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