Saturday, January 16, 2010

A last-ditch Rebel stand at Fort Fisher

I wish I were on the road this weekend to lovely North Carolina. The site of an important coastal fortification beckons.

Author Rod Gragg called Fort Fisher the "Confederate Goliath."

Considered by many to be the Confederate's strongest such palisade, much of Fisher is now in the Atlantic Ocean, washed away over the years.

This weekend marks the 145th anniversary of two bloody and momentous battles at Fisher, which is on Kure Beach, south of Wilmington, N.C. Re-enactments and other events are being held at the state historic site.

I have a copy of Gragg's book, but until now it has been gathering dust on a bookshelf.

Publishers Weekly wrote of "Confederate Goliath": Late in the Civil War, Wilmington, N.C., was the sole remaining seaport supplying Lee's army at Petersburg, Va., with rations and munitions. In this dramatic account, Gragg describes the two-phase campaign by which Union forces captured the fort that guarded Wilmington and the subsequent occupation of the city itself--a victory that virtually doomed the Confederacy."

A December 1864 assault failed to take the fort. But on Jan. 15, 1865, more than 3,300 Union infantry, including the 27th U.S. Colored Troops, assaulted the land face. After several hours of fierce hand-to-hand combat, Federal troops captured the fort that night.

Once Wilmington fell, the supply line of the Confederacy was severed, and the Civil War was soon over.

More information about visiting Fort Fisher


  1. It's what got me interested in history and the Civil War in particular.

  2. That's great. I hope to get there some time this spring.