Flag Officer Goldsborough wrote Assistant Secretary of Navy Fox: "At Washington, and also at Newberne [North Carolina] the obstructions in the river are very formidable, and admirably placed. They consist of a double row of piles thoroughly well driven by steam, and sunken vessels.
"The rows are at right angles to the shore and parallel with each other. One stretches all the way from the right bank nearly over to the left, and the other all the way from the left bank nearly over to the right, and there is a battery of considerable force on either bank between them; so that attacking vessels must first go bows on to one, and then after passing it, be raked aft by one and forward by the other at the same time."
The Confederates sought to reduce the Union navy's effectiveness by well-placed obstructions, making passage od shore batteries difficult and costly.
I Wouldn't Try Runnin' 'Em. --Old B-Runner