Fort Fisher, NC Page13
Photos/text this page courtesy of Bill Bechmann, OH
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Fort Fisher guarded the mouth of the Cape Fear River, the approach to Wilmington, North Carolina. Throughout the war, Wilmington was one of the most important ports as the Confederates tried to break the Union blockade of its coasts. By late 1864, Wilmington was one of the last ports open in the South. Even though Wilmington was an important city, Union leaders initially directed more attention to other targets, such as the capture of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Not until late 1864 did the Union turn attention to the massive wood-and-sand Fort Fisher, which was constructed in 1862 to withstand attacks by the most powerful Federal cannon.
Sixty ships attacked the fort on Christmas Eve. Inside the stronghold, some 500 Confederates hunkered down and withstood the siege. Although buildings in the fort caught fire, there were few casualties. The next day, a small Yankee force attacked on the ground, but reinforcing Confederates from Wilmington drove them away. The Union fleet sailed back to Hampton Roads, Virginia, with nothing to show for their efforts. The Union tried again to take Fort Fisher in January 1865. After two days, a Union force overwhelmed the fort and the last major Confederate port was closed.

Bill Bechmann, Cincinnati, Ohio


(July 2015) Enlarge The North Carolina State Historic Marker near Fort Fisher
Enlarged Views: Hit Back Button to return

Fort Fisher was a Confederate fort built during the American Civil War. It protected the vital trading routes of the port at Wilmington, North Carolina, from 1861 until its capture by the Union in 1865. The fort was located on one of Cape Fear River's two outlets to the Atlantic Ocean on what was then known as Federal Point and today is known as Pleasure Island. Because of the roughness of the seas at this location, it was known as the Southern Gibraltar. This is a must see historic site!!!

(July 2015) Enlarge Reconstructed Palisade



(July 2015) Enlarge Shepherd's Battery

(July 2015) Enlarge The Bloody Gate (Union Breakthrough)


(July 2015) Enlarge The View of the Atlantic Ocean from Fort Fisher

The boulders were put there in the early 1990s to help protect the shore line from erosion. Hurricane Bertha, a Cat 1, came through in 1996 and tossed those boulders around like gravel


(July 2015) Enlarge The Fort Fisher Monument


(July 2015) Enlarge The view from the Southport Ferry on the Cape Fear River towards Fort Fisher


(July 2015) Enlarge Shepherd's Battery

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