||Lt. Gen. James Longstreet took charge of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina on
February 25 and initiated his Tidewater Operations. He directed D.H. Hill, commander of the North Carolina
District, to advance on the Union stronghold of New Berne with about 12,000 men. Maj. Gen. William H.T.
Whiting, who commanded the Wilmington garrison, refused to cooperate. After an initial success at Deep Gully on
March 13, Hill marched against the well-entrenched Federals at Fort Anderson on March 14-15. Hill was forced
to retire upon the arrival of Union gunboats. The city’s garrison was heavily reinforced, and Hill withdrew to
threaten Washington, North Carolina.