FEBRUARY 23-25TH, 1865: Rear Admiral Dahlgren dispatched a squadron from Charleston, commanded by Captain Henry S. Stellwagen in the USS Pawnee, to capture and occupy Georgetown, South Carolina, in order to establish a line of communications with General Sherman's army advancing from Columbia, South Carolina. to Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Fort White, guarding the entrance to Winyah Bay leading to Georgetown, was evacuated upon the approach of the naval squadron and was occupied by a detachment of Marines on the 23rd.
The following day Stellwagen sent Ensign Allen K. Noyes with the USS Catalpa and Mingoe up the PeeDee River to accept the surrender of the evacuated city of Georgetown. Noyes led a small party ashore and received the surrender from civilian authorities while a group of his seamen climbed to the city hall dome and ran up the Stars and Stripes.
This action was presently challenged by a group of Confederate horsemen.. More sailors were landed. A skirmish ensued in which the bluejackets drove off the mounted guerrillas. Subsequently, the city was garrisoned by five companies of Marines who were in turn relieved by the soldiers on March 1.