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Removing powder from Confederate torpedoes 1864 In this photograph is one of the stations established for extracting powder from the torpedoes dredged up by the Federal gunboats in the James. When the activities of the Army of the Potomac centered about the James and the Appomattox in 1864 and 1865, it became the paramount duty of the cooperating navy to render the torpedo-infested streams safe for the passage of transports and supply vessels. The powder in these channels helped to guard Richmond from the Union gunboats. In the foreground sit two old salts discussing ways and means of rendering one of the deadly infernal machines harmless, while all about in this quiet nook lie remains of the dreaded submarine menaces that were constantly being placed in the channel by the Confederates.

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