FEBRUARY 18TH, 1865: As bad as things were going at Charleston for Southern hopes, it was now nearing the end at Wilmington.
The big guns of Rear Admiral Porter's fleet in the Cape Fear River silenced the Confederate batteries at Fort Anderson. Under a relentless hail of fire from the ships and Union troops investing the fort from two sides, the Southerners fell back to Town Creek.
Simultaneously, the Confederates dug in at Sugar Loaf Hill on the east bank of the Cape Fear River across from Fort Anderson, withdrew to Fort Strong, a complex of fortifications some three miles south of Wilmington.
The combined Army-Navy movement was now pushing irresistibly toward the city.