Thursday, January 15, 2015

Final Assault on Fort Fisher: 150th (1865-2015)

Rather than reinvent the wheel, here's a snippet from the Fort Fisher site overview, North Carolina Historic Sites (and National Historic Landmark):

Until the last few months of the Civil WarFt. Fisher kept North Carolina's port of Wilmington open to blockade runners supplying necessary goods to Confederate armies inland. By 1865, the supply line through Wilmington was the last remaining supply route open to Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. When Ft. Fisher fell after a massive Federal amphibious assault on January 15, 1865, its defeat helped seal the fate of the Confederacy . . . (for much more, including detailed maps: see this link).
On January 15, 1865, Fort Fisher's entire garrison of about 1,900 men was killed, wounded or captured. Of the POWs, nearly half subsequently died of wounds, illness or a combination -- including Major General W.H.C. Whiting, who'd graduated first in the West Point class of 1845; he was forty years old when he died.  On the Union side, out of about 12,000 troops participating in the land assault, 1,000 ended up killed, wounded or missing. 

Image above by Timothy H. O'Sullivan taken in January 1865, after the last battle. "Fort Fisher, N.C. View of the land front, showing destroyed gun carriage in second traverse." The details are clear: these sandbags, the sawhorse and wood planking could just as easily be from 2015 as 1865 (Library of Congress).

Today's Rune: Possessions. 


Charles Gramlich said...

Oh the importance of supply routes.

Vesper said...

So very interesting.
And the photo... unbelievable... 150 years old...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I was also struck by the clarity of the photo before I read the words. Simply stunning.

the walking man said...

I believe that when Fort Fisher fell that sealed Lee's decision to go to Appomattox. Sherman was in the south ready to come north, there was no more sense in being on the anvil with the hammer ready to fall again. Maybe the 500,000 dead and wounder were finally counted enough.