Served on board the U.S.S. Shokokon at New Topsail Inlet off Wilmington, N.C., 22 August 1863. Participating in a strategic plan to destroy an enemy schooner, Clifford aided in the portage of a dinghy across the narrow neck of land separating the sea from the sound. Launching the boat in the sound, the crew approached the enemy from the rear and Clifford gallantly crept into the rebel camp and counted the men who outnumbered his party 3 to 1. Returning to his men, he ordered a charge in which the enemy was routed, leaving behind a schooner and a quantity of supplies.