FEBRUARY 10TH, 1865: The USS Shawmut, Lt.Cmdr. J.G. Walker, engaged Confederate batteries on the east bank of the Cape Fear River while the USS Huron, Lt.Cmdr. Thomas O. Selfridge (Yep, that Thomas O. Selfridge who had come east with Porter), bombarded Fort Anderson on the west bank.
Fleet attacks were building up preliminary to full naval support of General Schofield's advance on Wilmington.
Schofield planned to outflank Confederate General Hoke's defensive line at Sugar Loaf by marching from Fort Fisher up the beach, and with the aid of pontoons to be landed by the navy on the coast side, cross Myrtle Sound to the mainland of the peninsula behind Southern lines.
The navy, in the meanwhile, would keep Hoke's men in their defensive trenches by bombardment from the Cape Fear River and along the sea coast.