MARCH 24TH, 1865: President Lincoln visited General Grant at City Point, Virginia, arriving at this all-important water-supported supply base at 9 p.m. on board the steamer River Queen. Accompanied by Mrs. Lincoln and his son Tad, he was escorted up the James River by the USS Bat, Lt.Cmdr. John S. Barnes.
Two days later Barnes accompanied Lincoln and Grant on a review of part of the Army of the James. General Horace Porter, serving on the general's staff, later recalled: "Captain Barnes, who commanded the vessel which had escorted the President's steamer, was to be part of the party, and I loaned him my horse.
"This was a favor which was usually accorded with some reluctance to naval officers when they came ashore; for these men of the ocean at times tried to board the animal on the starboard side, and often rolled in the saddle as if there was a heavy sea on; and if the horse, in his anxiety to rid himself of the sea-monster, tried to scrape his rider off by rubbing against a tree, the officer attributed the unseaman-like conduct of the animal entirely to the fact that his steering-gear had become unshipped....
"Navy officers were about as reluctant to lend their boats to to army people, for fear they would knock holes in te bottom when jumping in, break the oars in catching crabs, and stave in the bows through an excess of modesty which manifested itself in a reluctance to give the command 'Way enough!' in time when approaching a wharf."
Wondering How Lr. Cmdr. Barnes Did On That Horse? --Old B-Runner