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Richmond Ironclads at Trent's Reach
Detail taken from Library of Congress photo: LC-B811- 2475

The Flood

The C.S. Navy made preparations to retake the river as soon as it was occupied by Grant's forces, but the Union obstructionsin place by mid-June 1864thwarted Confederate plans. During the early winter of 1864-65, however, heavy storms blew down the James, changing Confederate prospects. On January 15, 1865 a Confederate scout reported the torpedo net had vanished and some of the sunken hulks had shifted, including this scuttled schooner (foreground), the Satterly. The wrecks behind herin the main channel off Farrar’s Islandhad also moved enough to open a passage.
   It was the last great chance for the James River Squadron. If the ironclads could reach City Point, the Confederacy might survive.
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