Rebel Gibraltar: Fort Fisher and Wilmington, C.S.A.
by James L Walker
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.
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.
Paperback: 452 pages
Publisher: Dram Tree Books (November 1, 2005)