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Aquia creek where the first shots were fired by the navy The importance of Aquia Creek Landing, on the Potomac, to the navy grew steadily as the advance offensive line which the Confederates had seized upon at the outbreak of the war began to be pushed back into Virginia. As a strategic position the little landing was the scene of many stirring events during the ebb and flow of the military operations. The navy, in cooperating, came to know it as a point of supply. Long before February, 1863, when these pictures were taken, the Potomac flotilla had had its full of the abundance of toil by night and day in the arduous and perilous task of patrolling the great river. Both banks in 1861 were lined with hostile non-combatants; goods were smuggled across constantly by Maryland sympathizers to their fighting friends in Virginia. Federal merchant-vessels were captured in attempting to get up the river to Washington. The suppression of all this fell to the lot of the little flotilla on the Potomac; and the task, which was the real beginning of the blockade, though devoid of glory and fame, was well and thoroughly accomplished and was one of the most praiseworthy achievements of the navy in the war.

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