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Confederate Goliath: The Storming of Fort Fisher, January 1865

Confederate Goliath: The Storming of Fort Fisher, January 1865

by Rod Gragg

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. 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 ( The Illustrated Confederate Reader ) has done a fine job in restoring this important campaign to public attention. Photos. (Jan.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Given the popularity of the recent PBS series on the Civil War, this account should do well. Gragg ( The Civil War Quiz and Fact Book , LJ 6/15/85) writes crisply about an engaging cast of scoundrels and heroes, intraservice and personality rivalries, and a massive fort that stood as a marvel of engineering. By late 1864, as Sherman crunched through the Carolinas after the fall of Charleston and Savannah, the town of Wilmington, North Carolina, remained the only hole in the Union blockade, the one hope for the Confederacy. Gragg recounts the two attempts to blow up and storm Fort Fisher, which guarded the town, but rather than a battle narrative he gives us insight into a place and a people. Recommended for Civil War collections and college libraries.--Randall Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia

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HarperCollins Publishers
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1st ed

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