Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Plans for the Powder Vessel at Fort Fisher

DECEMBER 8TH, 1864:  Rear Admiral Porter wrote to Lt. Cmdr Watmough, senior officer off New Inlet, North Carolina, regarding the plan to explode a vessel laden with powder off Fort Fisher:  "I propose running a vessel drawing 8 1/2 feet (as near to Fort fisher as possible) with 350 tons of powder, exploding her by running her upon the outside and opposite Fort Fisher.

"My calculations are that the explosion will wind up Fort Fisher and the works along the beach, and that we can open fire with the vessels without damage."

Major general Butler had suggested the powder ship late in November, and Porter, anxious to get the long-delayed Wilmington attack underway, agreed to attempt his unlikely means of reducing the fort before the landing.

--Old B-R'er

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