1st Battle of Fort Fisher: Confederate Order of Battle

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1st Battle of Fort Fisher: Confederate Order of Battle

FIRST DEFENSE OF FORT FISHER
December 24-27, 1864

DEFENDERS OF FORT FISHER
Maj. Gen. William Henry Chase Whiting
observer, adviser, combatant
 

Col. William Lamb
36th North Carolina Regiment (2nd Artillery), commanding

1st Battalion North Carolina Heavy Artillery
Co. D, Capt. James L. McCormic

1st Battalion North Carolina Junior Reserves
Cos. A, B, C, Maj. D. T. Millard

3rd Battalion North Carolina Light Artillery
Co. C (Sutton's Battery), Capt. John M. Sutton

4th Battalion North Carolina Junior Reserves
Cos. A, B, C, D, Maj. John M. Reece

7th Battalion North Carolina Junior Reserves
Cos. A, B, C, Maj. William F. French

8th Battalion North Carolina Junior Reserves
Cos. A, B, C, Maj. James Ellington

10th North Carolina (1st North Carolina Artillery)
Maj. James Reilly, commanding
Co. F, Capt. Edward D. Walsh
Co. K (Shaw's Company), Capt. William Shaw, Jr.

13th Battalion North Carolina Light Artillery
Co. D, Capt. Zachariah T. Adams

36th North Carolina Regiment (2nd Artillery)
Col. William Lamb, commanding
3rd Co. B (Bladen Stars), Capt. Daniel Munn
Co. E (Powell's Artillery), Capt. Oliver Powell
Co. F (Hunter's Company), Capt. Samuel B. Hunter
Co. H (Clarendon Guards), Capt. Daniel Patterson
Co. K (Brunswick Artillery), Capt. William Brooks

40th North Carolina Regiment (3rd Artillery)
Co. E (Scotch Greys), Capt. Malcomb McBride
2nd Co. K (Bladen Artillery Guards),
Capt. Daniel James Clark

Detachment of C. S. Navy
Lt. Robert T. Chapman

Detachment of C. S. Marines
Capt. A. C. Van Benthuysen

TROOPS STATIONED AT WILMINGTON
Lt. Gen. Theophilus Hunter Holmes,
post commandant
 

6th Battalion North Carolina Troops
(Fayetteville Armory Guards)
Cos. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, Lt. Col. F. L. Childs

Hahr's Battalion North Carolina Infantry
Maj. Franz J. Hahr

Capt. Henry P. Allen's Company
North Carolina Local Defense Troops

Bass's (unattached) Company

Capt. E. D. Sneed's Company
North Carolina Local Defense Troops

Detachment of C. S. Engineers and Coast Guard

DEFENDERS OF THE SUGAR LOAF LINE
Hoke's Division
(From the Army of Northern Virginia)
Maj. Gen. Robert Frederick Hoke
 

Hagood's Brigade
Brig. Gen. Johnson Hagood
7th South Carolina Battalion, Lt. Col. James H. Rion
11th South Carolina, Col. F. Hay Gantt
21st South Carolina, Col. Robert F. Graham
25th South Carolina, Capt. James Carson
27th South Carolina

Kirkland's Brigade
Brig. Gen. William W. Kirkland
17th North Carolina, Lt. Col. Thomas Sharp
42nd North Carolina, Col. John E. Brown
66th North Carolina, Col. John H. Nethercutt

Artillery
10th North Carolina Regiment
(1st North Carolina Artillery)
Lt. Col. John P. W. Read, commanding (W)

2nd Co. I (Southerland's Battery)
Capt. Thomas J. Southerland

 

Staunton Hill Artillery (Paris's Battery)
Capt. Andrew B. Paris

Connally's Brigade of North Carolina Reserves (224)
Col. John K. Connally
4th Battalion North Carolina Junior Reserves
Cos. A, B, C, D, Maj. John M. Reece
7th Battalion North Carolina Junior Reserves
Cos. A B, C, Maj. William F. French
8th Battalion North Carolina Junior Reserves
Cos. A, B, C, Maj. James Ellington
8th North Carolina Senior Reserves Cos. B, C, D, E, F,
Col. Allmond McKoy

TROOPS STATIONED AT FORT ANDERSON
40th North Carolina Regiment (3rd Artillery)
Co. A (Lenoir Braves), Capt. Ancram W. Ezzell
 

TROOPS STATIONED AT FORT PENDER, SMITHVILLE
3rd Battalion North Carolina Light Artillery
Co. A (Northampton Artillery), Capt. Andrew J. Ellis
 

TROOPS STATIONED AT FORT CASWELL,
OAK ISLAND

36th North Carolina Regiment (2nd Artillery)
Lt. Col. John Douglas Taylor, commanding
 

1st Battalion North Carolina Heavy Artillery
Co. A (Clark Artillery), Capt. Robert G. Rankin
Co. C (Brown's Battalion), Capt. William H. Brown
Capt. Abner A. Moseley's Company (Sampson Artillery)

TROOPS STATIONED AT FORT CAMPBELL,
OAK ISLAND

Col. John J. Hedrick, commanding
 

1st Battalion North Carolina Heavy Artillery
Co. B (River Guards), Capt. John W. Taylor
40th North Carolina Regiment (3rd Artillery)
Co. F, Capt. John C. Robertson

Credit: ah.dcr.state.nc.us;  North Carolina Office of Archives and History

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. Continued below…

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: 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: 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: Masters of the Shoals: Tales of the Cape Fear Pilots Who Ran the Union Blockade. Description: Lavishly illustrated stories of daring harbor pilots who risked their lives for the Confederacy. Following the Union's blockade of the South's waterways, the survival of the Confederacy depended on a handful of heroes-daring harbor pilots and ship captains-who would risk their lives and cargo to outrun Union ships and guns. Their tales of high adventure and master seamanship became legendary. Masters of the Shoals brings to life these brave pilots of Cape Fear who saved the South from gradual starvation. Continued below…

REVIEWS:

"A valuable and meticulous accounting of one chapter of the South's failing struggle against the Union." -- Washington Times 03/06/04

"An interesting picture of a little appreciated band of professionals...Well documented...an easy read." -- Civil War News June 2004

"An interesting picture of a little appreciated band of professionals...Will be of special interest to Civil War naval enthusiasts." -- Civil War News May 2004

"Offers an original view of a vital but little-known aspect of blockade running." -- Military Images 03/01/04

"Surveys the whole history of the hardy seamen who guided ships around the Cape Fear's treacherous shoals." -- Wilmington Star-News 10/26/03

"The story [McNeil] writes is as personal as a family memoir, as authoritative and enthusiastic as the best history." -- The Advocate 11/15/03

“Outstanding and compelling depictions of seamen courage and tenacity...Heroic, stirring, and gripping stories of the men that dared to confront the might and power of the US Navy.” – americancivilwarhistory.org

 

Recommended Reading: The Civil War in the Carolinas (Hardcover). Description: Dan Morrill relates the experience of two quite different states bound together in the defense of the Confederacy, using letters, diaries, memoirs, and reports. He shows how the innovative operations of the Union army and navy along the coast and in the bays and rivers of the Carolinas affected the general course of the war as well as the daily lives of all Carolinians. He demonstrates the "total war" for North Carolina's vital coastal railroads and ports. In the latter part of the war, he describes how Sherman's operation cut out the heart of the last stronghold of the South. Continued below...

The author offers fascinating sketches of major and minor personalities, including the new president and state governors, Generals Lee, Beauregard, Pickett, Sherman, D.H. Hill, and Joseph E. Johnston. Rebels and abolitionists, pacifists and unionists, slaves and freed men and women, all influential, all placed in their context with clear-eyed precision. If he were wielding a needle instead of a pen, his tapestry would offer us a complete picture of a people at war. Midwest Book Review: The Civil War in the Carolinas by civil war expert and historian Dan Morrill (History Department, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historical Society) is a dramatically presented and extensively researched survey and analysis of the impact the American Civil War had upon the states of North Carolina and South Carolina, and the people who called these states their home. A meticulous, scholarly, and thoroughly engaging examination of the details of history and the sweeping change that the war wrought for everyone, The Civil War In The Carolinas is a welcome and informative addition to American Civil War Studies reference collections.

 

Recommended Reading: The Civil War on the Outer Banks: A History of the Late Rebellion Along the Coast of North Carolina from Carteret to Currituck With Comments on Prewar Conditions and an Account of (251 pages). Description: The ports at Beaufort, Wilmington, New Bern and Ocracoke, part of the Outer Banks (a chain of barrier islands that sweeps down the North Carolina coast from the Virginia Capes to Oregon Inlet), were strategically vital for the import of war materiel and the export of cash producing crops. From official records, contemporary newspaper accounts, personal journals of the soldiers, and many unpublished manuscripts and memoirs, this is a full accounting of the Civil War along the North Carolina coast.

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