MARCH 24TH, 1865: The USS Republic was dispatched up the Cape Fear River from Wilmington to check reports that detachments of General Wheeler's cavalry were operating in the area. About six miles up the river a cavalry squad was driven away with gunfire.
They then landed a reconnoitering party. It was learned that the mounted Confederates had broken into small squads and were plundering the countryside.
They also made contact with a rear guard detachment of General Sherman's army en route to Fayetteville.