APRIL 21ST, 1861: Colonel Charles F. Smith, USA, reported to Secretary of Navy Welles he had seized and placed under guard steamers Baltimore, Mount Vernon, Philadelphia and Powhatan near Washington, D.C..
Steamers plied between Aquia Creek and Washington; these were ordered to be outfitted at Washington Navy Yard for defense of the Capital. Aquia Creek was a terminal point of railroad connection with Richmond, was the first location on the Potomac where Confederate naval officers erected batteries.
** USS Saratoga, Commander Alfred Taylor, captured slave ship Nightingale with 961 slaves on board.
** Secretary of Navy Welles instructed Captain Du Pont, Commandant Philadelphia Navy Yard, to "procure five staunch steamers from ten to twelve feet draught, having particular reference to strength and speed and capable of carrying a nine-inch pivot gun...for coast service." Similar orders were sent to Commandants of Navy yards in New York and Boston.