MARCH 11-12TH, 1865: Lt.Cmdr. George W. Young, senior officer present off Wilmington, led a naval force consisting of the USS Eolus and boat crews from the USS Maratanza, Lenapee and Nyack up the Cape Fear River to Fayetteville where they rendezvoused with General Sherman's army.
The expedition had been undertaken at the request of Major General Terry, who, Young reported, had said on the morning of the 11th 'that he was about an expedition up the North West Branch [of the Cape Fear River] for the purpose of clearing the way to Fayetteville, and wished to have one of the gunboats, as a support, to follow."
The expedition was halted for the night at devil's Bend because of "the circuitous nature of the river", but resumed the next morning and arrived at Fayetteville on the evening of the 12th.
In addition to opening communication between Union forces on the coast, the naval units arrived in time to protect the general's flank while he crossed the river.
Another Objective Accomplished. --Old B-R'er