Fort Fisher

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

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Porter Wants Monitors Returned to Cape Fear River

FEBRUARY 3RD, 1865:  In anticipation of the movement on Wilmington, Porter wrote Dahlgren requesting that the monitors he had dispatched to Charleston after the fall of Fort Fisher (Canonicus, Mahopac and Monadnock) be returned to duty on the Cape Fear River.

Although each squadron commander wanted the sturdy warships to spearhead his own efforts, Dahlgren prevailed in his belief that his problem was greater before the heavily fortified Charleston harbor.  Thus Porter had to plan on the services of only the USS Montauk, the lone monitor he had retained.

Monitors, with their big guns and massive armor, appealed to naval and military commanders for fighting forts more than they did to their crews.  An officer n the USS Canonicus had written earlier: "I will never go to sea in a monitor.  I have suffered more in mind and body since this affair commenced than I will suffer again if I can help it.  No glory, no promotion can ever pay for it."

Not So Great on a Monitor?  --Old B-R'er

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