Plate 78. Three First Traverses, Fort Fisher, N. C.

Plate 78. Three First Traverses, Fort Fisher, N. C.

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Text and photograph from Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War, Vol. II. Negative by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, text and positive by Alexander Gardner.
In September, 1864, the necessity of closing the port of Wilmington against blockade-runners, by capturing the city, became a subject of serious consideration to the Government. A fleet of naval vessels, surpassing in numbers and equipments any which had assembled during the war, was collected at Hampton Roads. Various causes intervened to delay the movement, and it was not until the early part of December that the expedition departed for Beaufort, N.C., the place of rendezvous. Some further necessary preparations were there made, which, together with unfavorable weather and other incidents, delayed the attack until the 24th of December.
On that day Rear-Admiral Porter, with a bombarding force of thirty-seven vessels, five of which were iron-clads, and a reserved force of nineteen vessels, attacked the forts at the mouth of Cape Fear river, and silenced them in one hour and a quarter; but there being no troops to make an assault or attempt to possess them, nothing beyond the injury inflicted on the works and the garrison was accomplished by the bombardment. A renewed attack was made the succeeding day, but with scarcely better results. The fleet shelled the forts during the day, and silenced them, but no assault was made or attempted by the troops which had been disembarked for that purpose. Major General Butler, who commanded the co-operating force, after a reconnoissance [sic], came to the conclusion that the place could not be carried by an assault. He therefore ordered a re-embarkation, and informing Rear-Admiral Porter of his intention, returned with his command to Hampton Roads.
Currently not on view
Object Name
albumen photograph
date made
Gardner, Alexander
place made
United States: North Carolina, Fort Fisher
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 7 in x 9 1/16 in; 17.78 cm x 23.07158 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Civil War
See more items in
Work and Industry: Photographic History
Gardner's Sketchbook
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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