#TBT: Protecting the port, Fort Fisher

Re-enactors at Fort Fisher 1963: Photo Courtesy- Cape Fear Museum

FORT FISHER, NC (WWAY) — This Throwback Thursday we’re throwing it back to the Civil War and the history of Fort Fisher. From 1861 until Union forces captured it in 1865, the fort served as protection to the Port of Wilmington. The routes it protected were incredibly important for trade.

The North saw Fort Fisher as a formidable opponent. The fort had both land defense and sea defense.

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In December 1864, Union forces under Major general Benjamin Butler along with other Union troops, attacked Fort Fisher by sea. The attack started on Christmas Eve. The Confederate troops were able to stop the Union from capturing the fort at that time.

But in January of 1865 there was a second attempt to capture the fort. This time the union forces were under Major General Alfred Terry in an operation named “Terry’s expedition.” After six hours of battle, Confederate general William Whiting surrendered.

After the fall of Fort Fisher the trading routes were cut off. Shortly afterwards the Union claimed Wilmington. The Civil War ended two months later.

** Special thanks to the Cape Fear Museum.