|Fort Fisher effect of the naval bombardment of December, 1864 In 1864, a larger force than ever had assembled under one command in the history of the American navy was concentrated before Fort Fisher, North Carolina, under Admiral David D. Porter. Sixty vessels, of which five were ironclads, arrived in sight of the ramparts on the morning of December 20th. After a futile effort to damage the Fort by the explosion of the powder-boat Louisiana on the night of December 23d, the fleet sailed in to begin the bombardment. The New Ironsides, followed by the monitors, took position as close in as their drafts would permit. The Minnesota, Colorado, and Wabash followed near. With a deafening roar and a sheet of flame, these frigates discharged their broadsides of twenty-five 9-inch guns, driving the garrison into their bomb-proofs. On Christmas Day, the bombardment was resumed by the larger vessels and the ironclads, while the smaller vessels covered the landing of General Butler's troops from the transports which had just arrived. The Fort proved too strong to take by assault, and the troops were withdrawn. The Fort did not fall until January 15, 1865. This photograph shows the effect of the terrific bombardment of the Federal fleet.|
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