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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 35: operations of the North Atlantic Squadron, 1863. (search)
roy all the means of subsisting an army in the State. Though it may have been said that the Federals held North Carolina, yet it was by a most precarious tenure; and this section, which should in the beginning have been completely conquered, remained simply a skirmishing-ground for the contending forces throughout the war. On January 5th the indefatigable Lieutenant Cushing started on an expedition to capture some Wilmington pilots, and having heard that there was a pilot station at Little River, thirty miles below Fort Caswell. he made sail for that point, and reached it on the morning of January 5th, 1863. He crossed the bar at 8 o'clock at night with twenty-five men, in three cutters, and proceeded up the river. He was in hopes of finding pilots above and also some schooners. About a mile from the mouth of the river the expedition received a volley of musketry from a bluff on the left. Cushing beached his boats the moment he was fired upon, without returning the fire, a