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Near Stafford in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Aquia Landing

Naval Engagement

 
 
Aquia Landing - Naval Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kevin White, August 28, 2007
1. Aquia Landing - Naval Engagement Marker
Inscription.  Within weeks after Virginia seceded from the Union in the spring of 1861, state troops began fortifying Aquia Landing. One artillery battery was established on the waterfront while additional batteries, like this one, covered the landing from nearby hills. These guns posed a threat to Union shipping in the Potomac River, prompting Commander James H. Ward of the United States Navy to take steps to eliminate them.

Between May 29 and June 1, 1861, Union gunboats on the Potomac River, ahead of you, fired more than 700 rounds at the landing. Union shells damaged several houses along the waterfront and tore up sections of railroad track but otherwise inflicted little damage. Return fire by the Confederates struck the U.S.S. Pawnee nine times and caused another attacking vessel, the U.S.S. Thomas Freeborn, to take on water. Incredibly, no one on either side was killed. “The only damage to our side,” observed a confederate spectator, “was the death of a chicken, though a stray ball killed a horse on the opposite side of the creek.”

Although the artillery exchange at Aquia Landing had no lasting impact on the war and
Aquia Landing Marker (showing wear) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Shane Oliver, March 5, 2022
2. Aquia Landing Marker (showing wear)
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produced few casualties, it is notable as one of the Civil War’s first military engagements. Manassas, the war’s first major battle, was still more than seven weeks away.

(caption under main picture) “Bombardment of the confederate batteries at Aquia Creek, Virginia, by the U.S.S Pawnee and Freeborn, May 31, 1861” by Alfred R. Waud

(caption under small picture) Sketch of the U.S.S. Pawnee.
 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: MilitaryNotable EventsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 29, 1863.
 
Location. 38° 22.905′ N, 77° 19.167′ W. Marker is near Stafford, Virginia, in Stafford County. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 56 Canterbury Dr, Stafford VA 22554, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battle of Aquia Landing (within shouting distance of this marker); History of the Patawomeck Indians (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Aquia Landing (about 400 feet away); Mason's Homestead (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Aquia Landing
Aquia Landing - Naval Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kevin White, August 28, 2007
3. Aquia Landing - Naval Engagement Marker
The trail to this marker is covered in oyster shells. The marker can be seen in the center of the picture. As the trail is a bit steep, caretakers have added benches for visitors to rest.
(about 600 feet away); Patawomeck Tribe Village (approx. 0.3 miles away); Steamships, Stages and Slave Trade (approx. 0.6 miles away); Early Escape Route (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stafford.
 
Regarding Aquia Landing. Access to this marker is from the “Aquia Landing - The Railroad” marker location.
 
Walker's Battery Gun Emplacement image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kevin White, August 28, 2007
4. Walker's Battery Gun Emplacement
This is the redoubt at Walker's Battery, about one mile south of the original boat landing. It had four rifled field guns and took part in May and June 1861 engagements.
Walker's Battery Gun Emplacement image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kevin White, August 28, 2007
5. Walker's Battery Gun Emplacement
Note an additional marker to the right of the emplacement.
Trail to reach the Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Shane Oliver, March 5, 2022
6. Trail to reach the Marker
The Marker is located at the top of this hill.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 22, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 29, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,811 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 29, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   2. submitted on May 23, 2022, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia.   3, 4, 5. submitted on August 29, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   6. submitted on May 23, 2022, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 1, 2023