Rocketts Landing

Rocketts Landing (HM1QBV)

Location: , VA
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 31.228', W 77° 25.003'

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Confederate Navy Yard

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 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.
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, January 3rd, 2016 at 9:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 286428 N 4155356
Decimal Degrees37.52046667, -77.41671667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 31.228', W 77° 25.003'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 31' 13.68" N, 77° 25' 0.18" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Virginia Capital Trail, VA , US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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