MARCH 4, 1865: The U.S. transport Thorn struck a torpedo below Fort Anderson in the Cape Fear River. Brigadier General Gabriel J. Rains, Superintendent of the Confederate Torpedo Corps and a pioneer in the development of torpedoes, reported: "The vessel sunk, as usual in such cases, in two minutes, but in this the crew escaped, but barely with their lives."
The loss of the 400 ton Army steamer within two weeks of the damage to the USS Osceola and destruction of the launch from the USS Shawmut by torpedoes (20-22 February, 1865) underscored the fact that although the Union controlled the waters below Wilmington it did not have complete freedom of movement.
The presence--or even the suspected presence--of Confederate torpedoes forced the Navy to move more slowly than would otherwise have been possible.