Landing At Fort Fisher


Image Size: 20 1/2 x 28

600 Limited Edition

40 Artist Proofs

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On the morning of January 13, 1865, The Union's Task Force of army, navy and marines returned to Confederate Point, a peninsula on the shores of North Carolina to capture the fort protecting the Cape Fear River and Wilmington. This was the North's second amphibious landing to capture the fort. The first attempt on December 25, 1864 was unsuccessful. The Confederate's Fort Fisher, known as "The Gibraltar of the South", was their largest, most formidable fortification. Located eighteen miles south of Wilmington, North Carolina, it protected the last significant confederate seaport accessible to blockade runners. A federal capture of Fort Fisher in effect meant severing the Confederacy's lifeline.

John Paul Strain's rendition of the landing depicts Colonel Galusha Pennypacker, Commander of the Second Brigade, coming ashore with the 97th Pennsylvania Regiment and its Commander, Lt. John Wainwright. Colonel Pennypacker at the age of twenty-two was the youngest Brigade Commander in the Federal Army. Two days later Colonel Pennypacker was wounded while leading his men in the assault of Fort Fisher. When wounded, he was carrying the 97th Regimental flag which he picked up after the color bearer, Corporal William McCarty, fell, shot through a knee. Colonel Pennypacker was promoted to Brevet Major General for his gallantry. Lt. Wainwright was also wounded in the assault and was commended in official dispatches for his bravery. In fact, all eight officers of the 97th Regiment were either killed or wounded during the assault. The 97th Regimental flag was riddled with more than 100 bullets and one shell during the battle. Both leaders, Pennypacker and Wainwright, were awarded the Medal of Honor for their conspicuous bravery. The ships shown starting from the left are: The Juniata, Brooklyn, Susquehanna, Aries, Colorado, Minnesota, Monadnock, Canonicus, Saugus, and Mahopac.

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