FEBRUARY 13TH, 1865: General Sherman's on-rushing army approached the Congaree River, S.C.. The soldiers would cross it on the 14th, heading for Columbia. With the fall of Columbia assured and with the supply route to Augusta, Georgia, already cut, General Hardee sped up his preparations to evacuate Charleston and to take the troops he had brought with him from Savannah to North Carolina where he planned to join Generals Johnston and Beauregard.
Since Charleston would have be abandoned and the Confederate naval squadron there scuttled, Commodore John R. Tucker, detached 300 men and officers from the CSS Chicora, Palmetto State and Charleston, as well as the Navy Yard, and dispatched them, under the command of Lt. James H. Rochelle, to assist in the final defense of Wilmington.
The naval detachment was assigned to Major General Robert F. Hoke's division which held the defensive line across the peninsula between Fort Fisher and Wilmington.
Things getting Mighty Sad for the Confederate Cause. --Old B-Runner