Fort Fisher to Elmira: The Fatal Journey of 518 Confederate Prisoners
by Richard H. Triebe
Historian Richard H. Triebe calls the battle of Fort Fisher, North Carolina, one of the last major engagements of the American Civil War. Major not in the number of casualties produced, but because the battle significantly shortened the length of the war. Mighty Fort Fisher guarded the Cape Fear River which was the only approach to the last major seaport open in the Confederacy.
Daring blockade runners brought their precious cargoes through the Federal blockade into the port of Wilmington. These supplies were then shipped north by rail to General Robert E. Lee’s army in Virginia.
Federal General Ulysses S. Grant realized he could bring the war to an early conclusion by closing this vital harbor. To seal off Wilmington from the outside world, he had to capture Fort Fisher first. This was no easy task since Fort Fisher was the largest earthen fortification in the Confederacy and was armed with 44 heavy seacoast artillery pieces. In December 1864, and again in January 1865, the United States Army and Navy launched a campaign to close this seaport and end blockade running forever.
Triebe’s book not only describes these dramatic battles in detail, but goes beyond other historical accounts by following the Fort Fisher prisoners to Elmira Prisoner of War Camp.
Triebe researched each prisoner’s record at the National Archives and discovered an astounding 46 percent of these men died from disease within five months. Join the author as he explores the causes that led to such a high death rate and find out who were the men responsible for creating such an unhealthy prison environment. Also included are prisoner’s statements, statistics regarding the Fort Fisher prisoners and a complete roster of the soldiers captured that were sent to Elmira Prisoner of War Camp.
Paperback: 421 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 4, 2010)
About the Author
Richard H. Triebe is freelance writer and historian published in multiple periodicals. He is the author of several historical novels and has done extensive research work regarding the Fort Fisher prisoners. Richard has an Associate’s Degree in Marine Technology. Richard is a former Chicago police officer and was a provost marshal investigator in the United States Army.
He is a member of the Coastal Carolina Writers Guild, a Brunswick Writers Forum panelist, and has appeared as a guest on several television shows, including The Artist’s Craft hosted by Stacy Cochran and WWAY TV’s Book Corner with Marcy Cuevas. He is a member of the Cape Fear Civil War Round Table, and has presented historical overviews of the battles of Fort Fisher to many local organizations. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Wilmington, North Carolina.