Public Papers and Letters of Oliver Max Gardner: Governor of North Carolina, 1929-1933

By Edwin Gill; David Leroy Corbitt | Go to book overview

THE IMPORTANCE OF FORT FISHER

ADDRESS DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION OF UNVEILING FORT FISHER MONUMENT FORT FISHER, N. C.

JUNE 2, 1932

Now that many years have passed and we can view the fall of Fort Fisher and other conflicts of the War Between the States with calm and dispassionate analysis, we cannot but feel with sadness that a nation was in a sense, fighting itself; and we cannot escape a feeling of pride that Fort Fisher was both hard to take and hard to hold, because Americans, actuated by the highest sense of duty, fought on each side.

A noble sentiment brings us here today to commemorate the courage and the patriotism of those who died at the Battle of Fort Fisher. Other battles may have been more fiercely fought. In other battles more men were slain. In other contests the fortress which fell was more formidable, but the quality of patriotism exhibited by those who fought at Fort Fisher more than justifies commemoration in the monument which we dedicate here today.

The fighting at Fort Fisher, however, was fierce enough. The fort was not easily held by the Confederates nor was it easily taken by the Federal forces. To capture Fort Fisher it was necessary that two separate assaults be made. The enemy lost, by their own statement, 1,445 killed, wounded, and missing. 1,900 Confederates, with 44 guns, contended against 10,000 men on shore and 600 heavy guns afloat. The Confederates in the defense of Fort Fisher killed and wounded nearly as many of the enemy as there were soldiers in the fort and they did not surrender until the last shot had been fired. Yes, there is glory and valor enough to be commemorated here.

-442-

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