Battle of Fort Fisher Medal of Honor

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Battle of Fort Fisher Medal of Honor

For their actions during the Battle of Fort Fisher, fifty-one soldiers, sailors and marines were awarded the Medal of Honor:
 
James Barnum, Boatswain's Mate, U.S. Navy.
Gurdon H. Barter, Landsman, U.S. Navy.
David L. Bass, Seaman, U.S. Navy
Philip Bazaar, Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy
Asa Betham, Coxswain, U.S. Navy
Richard Binder, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
Robert M. Blair, Boatswain's Mate, U.S. Navy
Edward R. Bowman, Quartermaster, U.S. Navy
Albert Burton, Seaman, U.S. Navy
William Campbell,Boatswain's Mate, U.S. Navy
Alaric B. Chapin, Private, Company G, 142d New York Infantry
Thomas Connor, Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy
Newton Martin Curtis, Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers
John Dempster, Coxswain, U.S. Navy
William Dunn, Quartermaster, U.S. Navy
Thomas English, Signal Quartermaster, U.S. Navy
Charles H. Foy, Signal Quartermaster, U.S. Navy
William H. Freeman, Private, Company B, 169th New York Infantry
Isaac N. Fry, Orderly Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
John Griffiths, Captain of the Forecastle, U.S. Navy
Edmund Haffee, Quarter Gunner, U.S. Navy
Thomas Harcourt, Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy
Joseph B. Hayden, Quartermaster, U.S. Navy
Thomas Jones, Coxswain, U.S. Navy
Thomas Kane, Captain of the Hold, U.S. Navy
Nicholas Lear, Quartermaster, U.S. Navy
 George Merrill, Private, Company I, 142d New York Infantry
Daniel Milliken, Quarter Gunner, U.S. Navy
Charles Mills, Seaman, U.S. Navy
Zachariah C. Neahr, Private, Company K, 142d New York Infantry
Galusha Pennypacker, Colonel, 97th Pennsylvania Infantry
George Prance, Captain of the Main Top, U.S. Navy
George Province, Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy
John Rannahan, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
Auzella Savage, Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy
Louis C. Shepard, Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy
William Shipman, Coxswain, U.S. Navy
Levi Shoemaker, Sergeant, Company A, 1st West Virginia Cavalry
Daniel D. Stevens, Quartermaster, U.S. Navy
Robert Summers, Chief Quartermaster, U.S. Navy
John Swanson, Seaman, U.S. Navy
Edward Swatton, Seaman, U.S. Navy
Henry A. Thompson, Private, U.S. Marine Corps
Andrew J. Tomlin, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
Othniel Tripp, Chief Boatswain's Mate, U.S. Navy
John Wainwright, First Lieutenant, Company F, 97th Pennsylvania Infantry
Henry S. Webster, Landsman, U.S. Navy
Joseph White, Captain of the Gun, U.S. Navy
Franklin L. Wilcox, Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy
Augustus Williams, Seaman, U.S. Navy
Richard Willis, Coxswain, U.S. Navy
 

Recommended Reading: Hurricane of Fire: The Union Assault on Fort Fisher (Hardcover). Review: In December 1864 and January 1865, Federal forces launched the greatest amphibious assault the world had yet seen on the Confederate stronghold of Fort Fisher, near Wilmington, North Carolina. This was the last seaport available to the South--all of the others had been effectively shut down by the Union's tight naval blockade. The initial attack was a disaster; Fort Fisher, built mainly out of beach sand, appeared almost impregnable against a heavy naval bombardment. When troops finally landed, they were quickly repelled. A second attempt succeeded and arguably helped deliver one of the death blows to a quickly fading Confederacy. Hurricane of Fire is a work of original scholarship, ably complementing Rod Gragg's Confederate Goliath, and the first book to take a full account of the navy's important supporting role in the assault.

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Recommended Reading: Confederate Goliath: The Battle of Fort Fisher. From Publishers Weekly: Late in the Civil War, Wilmington, N.C., was the sole remaining seaport supplying Lee's army at Petersburg, Va., with rations and munitions. In this dramatic account, Gragg describes the two-phase campaign by which Union forces captured the fort that guarded Wilmington and the subsequent occupation of the city itself--a victory that virtually doomed the Confederacy. In the initial phase in December 1864, General Ben Butler and Admiral David Porter directed an unsuccessful amphibious assault against Fort Fisher that included the war's heaviest artillery bombardment. Continued below…

The second try in January '65 brought General Alfred Terry's 9000-man army against 1500 ill-equipped defenders, climaxing in a bloody hand-to-hand struggle inside the bastion and an overwhelming Union victory. Although historians tend to downplay the event, it was nevertheless as strategically decisive as the earlier fall of either Vicksburg or Atlanta. Gragg has done a fine job in restoring this important campaign to public attention. Includes numerous photos.

 

Recommended Reading: Rebel Gibraltar: Fort Fisher and Wilmington, C.S.A. Description: Even before the rest of North Carolina joined her sister states in secession, the people of the Lower Cape Fear were filled with enthusiasm for the Southern Cause - so much so that they actually seized Forts Johnston and Caswell, at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, weeks before the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter. When the state finally did secede, Wilmington became the most important port city of the Confederacy, keeping Robert E. Lee supplied with the munitions and supplies he needed to fight the war against the North. Continued below…

Dedicated soldiers like William Lamb and W.H.C. Whiting turned the sandy beaches of southern New Hanover and Brunswick Counties into a series of fortresses that kept the Union navy at bay for four years. The mighty Fort Fisher and a series of smaller forts offered safe haven for daring blockade runners that brought in the Confederacy's much-needed supplies. In the process, they turned the quiet port of Wilmington into a boomtown. In this book that was fifteen years in the making, James L. Walker, Jr. has chronicled the story of the Lower Cape Fear and the forts and men that guarded it during America's bloodiest conflict, from the early days of the war to the fall of Wilmington in February 1865.

 

Recommended Reading: The Wilmington Campaign: Last Departing Rays of Hope. Description: While prior books on the battle to capture Wilmington, North Carolina, have focused solely on the epic struggles for Fort Fisher, in many respects this was just the beginning of the campaign. In addition to complete coverage (with significant new information) of both battles for Fort Fisher, "The Wilmington Campaign" includes the first detailed examination of the attack and defense of Fort Anderson. It also features blow-by-blow accounts of the defense of the Sugar Loaf Line and of the operations of Federal warships on the Cape Fear River. This masterpiece of military history proves yet again that there is still much to be learned about the American Civil War. Continued below…

"The Wilmington Campaign is a splendid achievement. This gripping chronicle of the five-weeks' campaign up the Cape Fear River adds a crucial dimension to our understanding of the Confederacy's collapse." -James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom

 

Recommended Reading: The Wilmington Campaign and the Battle for Fort Fisher, by Mark A. Moore. Description: Full campaign and battle history of the largest combined operation in U.S. military history prior to World War II. By late 1864, Wilmington was the last major Confederate blockade-running seaport open to the outside world. The final battle for the port city's protector--Fort Fisher--culminated in the largest naval bombardment of the American Civil War, and one of the worst hand-to-hand engagements in four years of bloody fighting. Continued below…

Copious illustrations, including 54 original maps drawn by the author. Fresh new analysis on the fall of Fort Fisher, with a fascinating comparison to Russian defenses at Sebastopol during the Crimean War. “A tour de force. Moore's Fort Fisher-Wilmington Campaign is the best publication of this character that I have seen in more than 50 years.” -- Edwin C. Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus, National Park Service

 

Recommended Reading: Civil War Navies, 1855-1883 (The U.S. Navy Warship Series) (Hardcover). Description: Civil War Warships, 1855-1883 is the second in the five-volume US Navy Warships encyclopedia set. This valuable reference lists the ships of the U.S. Navy and Confederate Navy during the Civil War and the years immediately following - a significant period in the evolution of warships, the use of steam propulsion, and the development of ordnance. Civil War Warships provides a wealth and variety of material not found in other books on the subject and will save the reader the effort needed to track down information in multiple sources. Continued below…

Each ship's size and time and place of construction are listed along with particulars of naval service. The author provides historical details that include actions fought, damage sustained, prizes taken, ships sunk, and dates in and out of commission as well as information about when the ship left the Navy, names used in other services, and its ultimate fate. 140 photographs, including one of the Confederate cruiser Alabama recently uncovered by the author further contribute to this indispensable volume. This definitive record of Civil War ships updates the author's previous work and will find a lasting place among naval reference works.

 

Recommended Reading: Gray Phantoms of the Cape Fear : Running the Civil War Blockade. Description: After the elimination of Charleston in 1863 as a viable entry port for running the blockade, Wilmington, North Carolina, became the major source of external supply for the Confederacy during the Civil War. The story of blockade running on the Cape Fear River was one of the most important factors determining the fate of the South. With detailed and thought-provoking research, author Dawson Carr takes a comprehensive look at the men, their ships, their cargoes, and their voyages. Continued below…

In mid-1863, the small city of Wilmington, North Carolina, literally found itself facing a difficult task: it had to supply Robert E. Lee's army if the South was to continue the Civil War. Guns, ammunition, clothing, and food had to be brought into the Confederacy from Europe, and Wilmington was the last open port. Knowing this, the Union amassed a formidable blockading force off storied Cape Fear. What followed was a contest unique in the annals of warfare. The blockade runners went unarmed, lest their crews be tried as pirates if captured. Neither did the Union fleet wish to sink the runners, as rich prizes were the reward for captured cargoes. The battle was thus one of wits and stealth more than blood and glory. As the Union naval presence grew stronger, the new breed of blockade runners got faster, quieter, lower to the water, and altogether more ghostly and their crews more daring and resourceful. Today, the remains of nearly three dozen runners lie beneath the waters of Cape Fear, their exact whereabouts known to only a few fishermen and boaters. Built for a special mission at a brief moment in time, they faded into history after the war. There had never been ships like the blockade runners, and their kind will never be seen again. Gray Phantoms of the Cape Fear tells the story of their captains, their crews, their cargoes, their opponents, and their many unbelievable escapes. Rare photos and maps. “This book is nothing shy of a must read.”

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