JANUARY 30TH, 1865: Returning from an afternoon reconnaissance of King's Creek, Virginia, Acting Ensign James H. Kerens, USS Henry Brinker, and his two boat crews "discovered 5 men, who, upon seeing us, immediately fled." His suspicions aroused, Kerens determined to return under the cover of darkness to search the vicinity.
That night he and two boat crews returned to the mouth of King's Creek and, after more than an hour of careful searching, found "two very suspicious looking mounds...." Removing the earth Kerens found two galvanic batteries and torpedoes, each containing some 150 pounds of powder.
Acting Third Assistant Engineer Henry M. Hutchinson and Landsman John McKenna cut the connections from the batteries to the torpedoes and the weapons were safely removed and taken on board the Henry Brinker.
Risk of life in little heralded acts such as this happened throughout the war.