2nd Battle of Fort Fisher: Union Order of Battle

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2nd Battle of Fort Fisher: Union Order of Battle

January 13-15, 1865

Department of Virginia and North Carolina

Bvt. Maj. Gen. Alfred H. Terry, commanding

XXIV Army Corps
First Division

Second Brigade
Col. Joseph C. Abbott
6th Connecticut, Col. Alfred P. Rockwell
7th Connecticut, Capt. John Thompson
Capt. William S. Marble
3rd New Hampshire, Capt. William H. Trickey
7th New Hampshire, Lt. Col. Augustus W. Rollins
16th New York Heavy Artillery Cos. A, B, C, F, G, K, Maj. Frederick W. Prince

Second Division
Brig. Gen. Adelbert Ames

First Brigade
Bvt. Brig. Gen. N. Martin Curtis (W)
Maj. Ezra L. Walrath
3rd New York, Capt. James H. Reeve (W)
Lt. Edwin A. Behan
112th New York, Col. John F. Smith
117th New York, Lt. Col. Francis X. Meyer
142nd New York, Lt. Col. Albert M. Barney

Second Brigade
Col. Galusha Pennypacker (W)
Maj. Oliver P. Harding
47th New York, Capt. Joseph M. McDonald
48th New York, Lt. Col. William B. Coan (W)
Maj. Nere A. Elfwing
76th Pennsylvania, Col. John S. Littell
97th Pennsylvania, Lt. John Wainwright
203rd Pennsylvania, Col. John W. Moore (K)
Lt. Col. Jonas W. Lyman, Maj. Oliver P. Harding,
Capt. Heber B. Essington

Third Brigade
Col. Louis Bell (K)
Col. Alonzo Alden
13th Indiana, Lt. Col. Samuel M. Zent
4th New Hampshire, Capt. John H. Roberts
115th New York, Lt. Col. Nathan J. Johnson
169th New York, Col. Alonzo Alden
Lt. Col. James A. Colvin

Artillery Brigade
Capt. Richard H. Lee
16th New York Independent Battery Light Artillery

XXV Army Corps
Third Division
Brig. Gen. Charles J. Paine

Second Brigade
Col. John W. Ames
4th U.S. Colored Troops, Lt. Col. George Rogers
6th U.S. Colored Troops, Maj. Augustus S. Boernstein
30th U.S. Colored Troops, Lt. Col. Hiram A. Oakman
39th U.S. Colored Troops, Col. Ozora P. Stearns

Third Brigade
Col. Elias Wright
1st U.S. Colored Troops, Lt. Col. Giles H. Rich
5th U.S. Colored Troops, Maj. William R. Brazie
10th U.S. Colored Troops, Lt. Col. Edward H. Powell
27th U.S. Colored Troops, Col. Albert M. Blackman
37th U.S. Colored Troops, Col. Nathan Goff, Jr.

Artillery Brigade
3rd U.S., Regular Army, Battery E
Lt. John Myrick

Bvt. Brig. Gen. Henry L. Abbot
1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery Cos. B, G, L
Capt. William G. Pride

15th New York Cos. A, I (or A, B, H)
Lt. K. Samuel O'Keefe

North Atlantic Blockading Squadron
Cape Fear Task Force
Rear Adm. David D. Porter, commanding

Ship's Name / Number of Guns / Commanding Officer

Ships of Line No. 1
Brooklyn / 26 / Capt. James Alden
Canonicus (ironclad) / 2 / Lt. Cmdr. George Belknap
Huron / 5 / Lt. Cmdr. Thomas O. Selfridge
Kansas / 8 / Lt. Cmdr. Pendleton G. Watmough
Mahopac (ironclad) / 2 / Lt. Cmdr. Edward Potter
Maumee / 8 / Lt. Cmdr. Ralph Chandler
Mohican / 9 / Cmdr. Daniel Ammen
Monadnock (ironclad) / 4 / Cmdr. Enoch G. Parrott
New Ironsides (ironclad) / 20 / Cmdr. William Radford
Pawtuxet / 10 / Cmdr. James H. Spotts
Pequot / 8 / Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Braine
Pontoosuc / 12 / Lt. Cmdr. William G. Temple
Saugus (ironclad) / 2 / Cmdr. Edmund R. Colhoun
Seneca / 5 / Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery Sicard
Tacony / 12 / Lt. Cmdr. William T. Truxton
Unadilla / 6 / Lt. Cmdr. Frank M. Ramsay
Yantic / 5 / Lt. Cmdr. Thomas C. Harris

Ships of Line No. 2
Colorado / 50 / Commo. Henry K. Thatcher
Juniata / 14 / Capt. William Rogers Taylor
Mackinaw / 10 / Cmdr. John C. Beaumont
Minnesota / 46 / Commo. Joseph Lanman
Powhatan / 24 / Commo. James F. Schenck
Shenandoah / 6 / Capt. Daniel B. Ridgley
Susquehanna / 18 / Commo. Sylvanus W. Godon
Ticonderoga / 14 / Capt. Charles Steedman
Tuscarora / 10 / Cmdr. James M. Frailey
Vanderbilt / 16 / Capt. Charles W. Pickering
Wabash / 44 / Capt. Melancton Smith

Ships of Line No. 3
Chippewa / 6 / Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Weaver
Fort Jackson / 11 / Capt. Benjamin F. Sands
Iosco / 10 / Cmdr. John Guest
Maratanza / 6 / Lt. Cmdr. George Young
Montgomery / 6 / Acting Vol. Lt. Thomas C. Dunn
Monticello / 6 / Lt. Cmdr. William B. Cushing
Osceola / 10 / Cmdr. J. M. B. Clitz
Quaker City / 7 / Cmdr. William F. Spicer
R. R. Cuyler / 12 / Cmdr. Charles H. B. Caldwell
Rhode Island / 12 / Cmdr. Stephen D. Trenchard
Santiago de Cuba / 11 / Capt. Oliver S. Glisson
Sassacus / 12 / Lt. Cmdr. John L. Davis

Ships of Reserve Line
A. D. Vance / 5 / Lt. Cmdr. John H. Upshur
Alabama / 10 / Acting Vol. Lt. Amos R. Langthorne
Aries / 7 / Acting Vol. Lt. Francis S. Wells
Britannia / 6 / Acting Vol. Lt. William B. Sheldon
Cherokee / 6 / Acting Vol. Lt. William E. Dennison
Emma / 8 / Acting Vol. Lt. James M. Williams
Eolus / 4 / Acting Mstr. Edward S. Keyser
Fort Donelson / 1 / Acting Mstr. George W. Frost
Gettysburg / 7 / Lt. R. H. Lamsom
Gov. Buckingham / 6 / Acting Vol. Lt. J. MacDiarmid
Launch No. 6 / 1 / Gunner Hubert Peters
Lillian / 2 / Acting Vol. Lt. T. A. Harris
Little Ada / 2 / Acting Mstr. Samuel P. Crafts
Malvern/ 12 / Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin H. Porter
Nansemond / 3 / Acting Mstr. James H. Porter
Republic / 1 / Acting Mstr. John W. Bennett
Tristram Shandy / 4 / Act. Vol. Lt. Edward F. Devens
Wilderness / 4 / Acting Mstr. Henry Arey

U. S. Army Transports
Atlantic, Blackstone, California, Champion, Charles Leary, Commodore DuPont, De Molay, Euterpe, General Lyon, Governor Chase, Idaho, L. C. Livingston, McClellan, Montauk, North Point, Prometheus, Russia, Thames, Thomas R. Scott, Tonawanda, Varuna, Weybossett

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

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.

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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: 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.


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…


"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: 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: 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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