|Fall of Fort Fisher, North Carolina on Jan. 15, 1865|
(Library of Congress)
[National Park Service]
|North Carolina artillery soldier with|
North Carolina belt buckle and sword.
(Lilijenquist Family Collection
Library of Congress)
After the failure of his December expedition against Fort Fisher, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler was relieved of command. Maj. Gen. Alfred Terry was placed in command of a “Provisional Corps,” including Paine's Division of U.S. Colored Troops, and supported by a naval force of nearly 60 vessels, to renew operations against the fort. After a preliminary bombardment directed by Rear Adm. David D. Porter on January 13, Union forces landed and prepared an attack on Maj. Gen. Robert Hoke's infantry line. On the 15th, a select force moved on the fort from the rear. A valiant attack late in the afternoon, following the bloody repulse of a naval landing party carried the parapet. The Confederate garrison surrendered, opening the way for a Federal thrust against Wilmington, the South's last open seaport on the Atlantic coast. Estimated casualties were a total of 2,000.