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Smith Point Lightship

LV23 (designed Smith Point) was stationed off to the south side of the Potomac River entrance from the Chesapeake Bay. The lightship was moored about three miles offshore guarding the shoal area off Smith Point. It served as a reference mark for the southern approach to the Potomac River. It also served as a waypoint for north-south traffic using the main Chesapeake Channel. Smith Point replaced the light vessel (designated “B”) that had been sunk by Confederate forces. Historical records show that a “competent” military guard was detailed onboard during 1862. LV23 served on station from 1862 until 1868 when it was no longer needed after the establishment of the Smith Point Lighthouse.
LV46 served on station from 1895, after the screwpile lighthouse was carried away by ice, until 1897 when the caisson lighthouse was built.

The Coast Guard has a photo of LV23 when it was on station at Ram Island Reef in Connecticut.


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