Union and Confederate Forces at the Battle of Fort
U N I O N
- Gen. Jacob D. Cox, commander Third Division, 23rd Army Corps. Commanded
Schofield’s forces west of the Cape Fear River. Described as prudent, energetic, brave and an excellent corps commander.
Led about 6,000 soldiers who attacked Fort Anderson by advancing through swamps and woods to surround the fort, which prompted
the Confederates to abandon Fort Anderson.
- Adm. David Porter, Commander, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Probably
America’s best-known naval officer after Adm. David Farragut. Tough, smart and a self-promoter, Porter was a man either
admired or despised. During the Civil War, he quickly emerged as one of the Navy’s brightest and most successful officers,
particularly after helping to take Vicksburg, and was eager for the Navy to play a key role in the attack on Fort Fisher.
Led the naval assault on Fort Anderson after Fort Fisher fell.
- Maj. Gen. John Schofield, commander, 23rd Army Corps. A competent corps
commander of the 21,000 man corps, but inexperienced in combined Army and Navy operations. A personal friend of Gen. Ulysses
Grant, who recommended Schofield to command the re-established Department of North Carolina and the raid on Wilmington, much
to the surprise and chagrin of Gen. Terry and Adm. Porter.
C O N F E D E R A T E
- Gen. Johnson C. Hagood, Commander of Hagood’s Brigade, Hoke’s
Division (from the Army of Northern Virginia). A lawyer and planter. Became commander of defense of Fort Anderson, but lacked
enough troops to hold the fort. Abandoned Fort Anderson and retreated to Town Creek, eight miles to the north.
- Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hoke: Commander, Hoke’s Division. Educated
at the Kentucky Military Institute. A native of Lincolnton, N.C., he entered service of the state in 1861. He was noted
for his coolness, judgment and efficiency, enjoyed several battle victories, and was commissioned major general in 1864. He
was ordered to fall-back from an initial advance on Fort Fisher, which subsequently fell, then directed Hagood’s
defense of Fort Anderson before ordering his retreat.
Source: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources
Anderson: The Battle For Wilmington. Description: A detailed but highly readable study of the largest
and strongest interior fortification guarding the Confederacy's last major seaport of Wilmington, North Carolina.
An imposing earthen bastion, Fort
Anderson was the scene
of a massive two-day Union naval bombardment and ground assault in late February 1865. Continued below…
fall sealed Wilmington's doom. More than a military campaign study, Fort
Anderson: Battle for Wilmington
examines the history of the fort's location from its halcyon days as North Carolina's leading
colonial port of Brunswick
to its beginnings as a Confederate fortification in 1862 and its fall to Union forces three years later. The fort also had
several eerie connections to President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Today the fort is part of the tranquil Brunswick Town
State Historic Site. Fort Anderson: Battle for Wilmington is liberally illustrated
with maps and illustrations, including many previously unpublished soldiers' images. It also contains an order of battle,
endnotes, bibliography and index.
Reading: American Civil War Fortifications (1): Coastal brick and stone forts (Fortress). Description: The 50 years before the American Civil War saw a boom in the construction
of coastal forts in the United States of America.
These stone and brick forts stretched from New England to the Florida Keys, and as far as the Mississippi
River. At the start of the war some were located in the secessionist states, and many fell into Confederate hands.
Although a handful of key sites remained in Union hands throughout the war, the remainder had to be won back through bombardment
or assault. This book examines the design, construction and operational history of those fortifications, such as Fort Sumter, Fort
Morgan and Fort Pulaski, which played a crucial part in the course of the Civil War.
Recommended Reading: Storm
over Carolina: The Confederate Navy's Struggle for Eastern North Carolina. Description: The struggle for control of the eastern
waters of North Carolina during the War Between the States
was a bitter, painful, and sometimes humiliating one for the Confederate navy. No better example exists of the classic adage,
"Too little, too late." Burdened by the lack of adequate warships, construction facilities, and even ammunition, the
South's naval arm fought bravely and even recklessly to stem the tide of the Federal invasion of North
Carolina from the raging Atlantic. Storm
Over Carolina is the account of the Southern navy's struggle in North
Carolina waters and it is a saga of crushing defeats interspersed with moments of brilliant and even
spectacular victories. It is also the story of dogged Southern determination and incredible perseverance in the face
of overwhelming odds. Continued below...
For most of
the Civil War, the navigable portions of the Roanoke, Tar, Neuse,
Chowan, and Pasquotank rivers were occupied by Federal forces. The Albemarle and Pamlico sounds, as well as most of the coastal
towns and counties, were also under Union control. With the building of the river ironclads, the Confederate navy at last
could strike a telling blow against the invaders, but they were slowly overtaken by events elsewhere. With the war grinding
to a close, the last Confederate vessel in North Carolina
waters was destroyed. William T. Sherman was approaching from the south, Wilmington
was lost, and the Confederacy reeled as if from a mortal blow. For the Confederate navy, and even more so for the besieged
citizens of eastern North Carolina, these were stormy days
indeed. Storm Over Carolina describes their story, their struggle, their
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
Recommended Reading: Ironclads and Columbiads: The Coast
(The Civil War in North Carolina) (456 pages). Description: Ironclads and Columbiads covers some of the most
important battles and campaigns in the state. In January 1862, Union forces began in earnest to occupy crucial points on the
North Carolina coast. Within six months, Union army and
naval forces effectively controlled coastal North Carolina from the Virginia
line south to present-day Morehead City.
Union setbacks in Virginia, however, led to the withdrawal of many federal soldiers from North Carolina, leaving only enough
Union troops to hold a few coastal strongholds—the vital ports and railroad junctions. The South during the Civil War,
moreover, hotly contested the North’s ability to maintain its grip on these key coastal strongholds.
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...
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.