FEBRUARY 3RD, 1865: Flag Officer William W. Hunter reported to the Confederate Navy department that he was ordering the CSS Macon and CSS Sampson to turn over their ammunition to the Confederate Army at Augusta. The shallow upper Savannah River mad eit impossible made it impossible to use the vessels effectively in the defense of the city against the threatened attack by General Sherman's army which was working its way northward from Savannah.
Sherman had spent January in Savannah preparing for his march to North Carolina and insuring that he would have the necessary support from the sea coast. After preparatory combined operations, in which Rear Admiral Dahlgren lost the USS Dai Ching to gunfire and subjected other gunboats to the threat of the ever-present torpedoes in shallow river and coastal waters, Sherman crossed the Savannah River at Savannah and on February 1, continued his march.
When Savannah had fallen, Hunter had brought the Macon and Sampson upriver with difficulty, determined to fight them as long as possible. Now, however, he had run out of navigable water.