Names, tonnage, and earnings of steam-boats chartered and employed by Captain George D. Wise, assistant quartermaster, U. S. Army, for the gun-boat flotilla on the Western waters.*
Numbers 116. CHIEF QUARTERMASTER'S OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA, Wilmington, March 11, 1865.
Captain ANDREW AINSWORTH,
Captain of the Port:
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders received from Major-General Terry, commanding at Wilmington, you will take the tug Davidson and such men and machines as you require and, as soon as the guard reports, you will proceed up the Cape Fear River as far as possible with safety to the tug and men, ascertaining as nearly as possible the amount of obstructions in the river, clearing the river of such obstructions, communicating with General Sherman's scouts, if possible. Seventy-five men will be detailed as guard, with arms and three days" rations, with sufficient officers to command them.
You can send out scouts on the banks of the river at such places as may be necessary to protect the boat.
If necessary, I will send the Christopher, to return with such information as you may obtain from the scouts, contrabands, and all persons that can give you information of service to the commanding general.
You will be cautious in your movements, and go as far as possible.
GEO. S. DODGE,
Brevet Brigadier-General and Chief Quartermaster.
FORTRESS MONROE, VA., October 29, 1865.
Colonel WILLIAM L. JAMES,
Chief Quartermaster Department of Virginia:
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report in regard to opening communication with General Sherman, made at your request:
On the 11st of March, 1865, I received orders from Brigadier General George S. Dodge (a copy of which I inclose #). I also received verbal orders to procure a launch from the Navy Department; also two swivel guns and the necessary ammunitions; also a construction party to accompany me to clear obstructions.
I also made arrangements to have a torpedo ready to blow up the rebel steamer Chickamauga if I found her lying across the channel so as to obstruct the passage of the river. We received orders from Major-General Terry to proceed punctually at 2.30 p.m., which order was promptly obeyed. We were informed that the U. S. steamer Eolus, Commander Young commanding, would immediately follow.
Nothing worthy of note occurred, until some sixteen miles from Wilmington, N. C. (the highest point attained by the naval vessels). After passing that point large numbers of colored men, women, and children flocked to the banks of the river and appeared wild with delight at our appearance, and wished to come on board, and followed us along the banks of the river for miles, offering us fish, &c.; but we
*Omitted; but see p. 883, of Executive Document Numbers 1, referred to in foot-note (*), p. 249.