Fort Fisher, Confederate earthwork fortification, built by Gen. William Whiting in 1862 to guard the port of Wilmington, N.C.; scene of one of the last large battles of the Civil War. Because Wilmington was one of the few ports open to blockade-runners, a joint land-sea expedition under Gen. Benjamin Butler and Admiral David Porter was sent against Fort Fisher in Dec., 1864; the Union forces, however, failed to take it. A second attempt, with Gen. Alfred Terry replacing Butler, captured the fort on Jan. 15, 1865. The port was closed and Wilmington fell soon afterward. Fort Fisher is now a historic site.