MARCH 12TH, 1865: At the request of Brigadier General Schofield, Acting Master H. Walton Grinnell, leading a detachment of four sailors, succeeded in delivering important Army dispatches to General Sherman near Fayetteville. Grinnell and his men began their trip on the 4th in a dugout from Wilmington.
About 12 miles up the Cape Fear River, after passing through Confederate pickets undetected, the men left the boat and commenced a tedious and difficult march toward Fayetteville.
Near Whiteville, Grinnell impressed horses and led a daring dash through Confederate lines. Shortly thereafter he made contact with the rear scouts of General Sherman's forces, successfully completing what Grinnell termed "this rather novel naval scout."
Naval support, no matter what form it took, was essential to Sherman's movements.
Also on MARCH 12, 1865: The USS Quaker City captured the British blockade-running schooner R.H. Vermilyea in the Gulf of Mexico with a cargo of coffee, clothes, rum, tobacco and shoes.
I Wonder If Uncle Billy Thanked Them? --Old B-Runner