MARCH 13TH, 1865: Commander Rhind, Senior Naval Officer at New Bern, reported to Commander Macomb, commanding in the North Carolina Sounds, that the expedition up the Neuse River had returned the previous evening. "A deserter from a North Carolina regiment came on board the [Army steamer] Ella May yesterday morning.
"He states that the whole rebel force under Bragg (estimated by him at 40,000) had evacuated Kinston, moving toward Goldsboro, but that Hoke's division returned when he left.
"The ironclad [Neuse] is afloat and ready for service; has two guns, draws 9 feet. No pontoon was found in the Neuse. If you can send me a torpedo launch at once he may have the opportunity of destroying the ironclad. The bridge (railroad) at Kinston has been destroyed by the enemy."
Sounds like Rhind is thinking of a repeat of the Cushing attack on the CSS Albemarle.