The South was not the only side who thought they had a certain right
To take boats that were simply passing along the water.
The Union too felt they should have control
And this had the same result, a hazard during the day or night.
For example during the winter 1862
The Union took over 150 boats
And not always for the same purpose they did this.
Just what would happen to the boat no one knew.
Some boats were used as bridges so the North could slip across.
This made it easier for soldiers to move back an forth
But it put the boats in harms way without compensation
As if the livelihood of citizens was something the Union could toss.
Sometimes the Union moved the boats to the Potomac for another cause.
To block Southern passage they had a definite plan.
Once settled in the right place on the river
The Union would sink it without giving pause.
At best the boats could be commandeered
Then be used to transport things on down the line
Or left on the shore in case a need came.
But for that time, the plight of all owners was the same.