Attack on Fort Fisher

fisherToday we consider the attack on the Confederate bastion at Fort Fisher, near Wilmington, North Carolina.  Built to protect the vital port there, and to allow blockade runners in, Fisher  was built  mostly of earth and sand, meant to absorb shells. The sea face held 22 guns, in a series of 12-foot-high batteries, and on the south end was two larger batteries 45 and 60 feet high. Smaller mounds served as a telegraph room and  a hospital bombproof. The land face ( 25 guns ) contained  15 mounds each one 32 feet high with interior rooms used as bombproofs, powder magazines and connected by underground tunnels. A 9-foot-high palisade fence ran along in front of the land face.

The Union army and navy planned several attacks on Fort Fisher and the port of Wilmington, but did not attack until Christmas Eve 1864.  This attack failed, and the Federals returned for a second try on January 12, 1865. For two and a half days, Federal ships bombarded the fort. On January 15, more than 3,300 Union infantry, including the 27th US Colored Troops, hit the land face. After several hours troops captured the fort.

The Confederates evacuated their remaining forts in the Cape Fear area, the Union took Wilmington, and closed the last port available to blockade runners.

 

source: NC Parks

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