Category: Wilmington and Fort Fisher (Campaign Series)

  • Wilmington Part 5

    Assessment of First Attack As a military operation the first effort to take Fort Fisher was a disaster. It suffered from a multitude of problems, any one of which alone could lead to failure, but together left little chance for a successful outcome. The list of difficulties that the attackers heaped on themselves is nearly […]

  • Wilmington Part 4

    Retreat and Failure Encouraged by the apparent lack of enemy troops on the works Curtis continued to urge his men to find a way into the fort. LT William Walling of Co. C 142nd New York Infantry braved the friendly naval fire to grab the downed enemy flag. Scampering through a gap in the palisades […]

  • Wilmington Part 3

    Naval Bombardment – 24 Dec 1864 The failure of the gun boat experiment left Porter no alternative but to reduce the fort by standard naval bombardment. He probably reveled in the thought of unleashing his armada. With Butler and his troops still unavailable there was a chance to provide a victory without assistance from the […]

  • Wilmington Part 2

    Movement Begins Prompted by Grant, the expedition finally got under way on the 14th. In a surprise meeting on the 13th Butler announced to Grant that he would accompany the fleet. This of course would make him the de facto commander, superseding Grant’s choice of Weitzel.* The operation began with a move up the Potomac. […]

  • Wilmington Part 1

    Why Wilmington? In 1860 peace time Wilmington, North Carolina was the state’s largest city. The 10,000 or so residents lived prosperous lives centered on maritime activities and a small but productive industrial base. Two ship building concern, two iron works, fishing, and the all important cotton trade benefited not only from ocean access but the […]