Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fort Fisher

After Major General Benjamin Butler's was relieved of command of the Army of the James, he was assigned to lead an expedition against the Confederate fort at Fort Fisher, NC. The fort protected Wilmington, NC which was the Confederacy's last open port on the Atlantic Coast. The fort was shelled by a Union fleet under the command of Rear Admiral David D. Porter. An infantry division of Union soldiers was landed to test the fort's defenses. The timely arrival of Confederate troops under Major General Robert Hoke caused Butler to stop the attack and return to Fort Monroe. For more information, please see Fort Fisher, NC I for additional pictures of the fort.
Following his failure to take the fort, Butler was relieved of command and replaced by General Alfred Terry. Terry was placed in charge of a "Provisional Corps" including General Paine's division of Colored Troops. He was supported by a fleet of 60 ships under command of Admiral Porter.

A second attempt to capture the fort began on January 13, 1865 with an artillery bombardment by Porter's fleet. Union forces landed and prepared for an attack on Hoke's infantry line. On January 15th a select force attacked the fort from the rear. A naval force was repulsed with high casualties. However, a courageous attack late in the afternoon captured the parapet and the garrison was forced to surrender. For more information, please see Fort Fisher, NC II.

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