Fort Fisher

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

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Beginning of the End for Fort Fisher-- Part 2: Day 2, Jan. 15, 1865

The monitors had maintained a harassing fire during the night of the 13th-morning of the 14th.  Then, at daylight of the second day of the attack, the fleet's big guns reopened the bombardment in full fury.

General W.H.C. Whiting who had come to "counsel" with Colonel Lamb and share his fate inside the fort, remarked: "It was beyond description, no language can describe that terrific bombardment."

The Confederates were hardly able to bury their dead, much less repair the works, as the fleet poured its shells in, according to one estimate,100 shells a minute.  The defenders suffered some 300 casualties from the naval bombardment and had but one gun on the land face of the fort still serviceable.

During the day, the CSS Chickamauga fired on the recently landed Federal troops from her position in the Cape Fear River, but on the 15th, the USS Monticello, Lt. Cmdr. William B. Cushing, drove the former Confederate raider out of range.(firing over the peninsula).

On the evening of the 14th, General Terry visited Porter on the flagship USS Malvern, and the two planned the timing of the next day's operations.  The fleet would maintain its bombardment until the moment of the attack in mid-afternoon.  Then half of the 8,000 soldiers would assault the land face at the western end (by the Cape Fear River).  At the same time, some 2,000 sailors and Marines would attack the "Northeast Bastion."  The remaining troops would hold the defensive line against a possible attack from Wilmington.

It's About All Over Now.  --Old B-Runner

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