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North Carolina Military Installations - Civil War

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Forts

Name
Location
Description
Fort Allen Near New Bern (Craven County) Built in 1862 by Confederate forces on the west bank of the Neuse River to defend New Bern. Manned by Company B, 1st Maryland Regiment.
Fort Amory Near New Bern (Craven County) One of a series of Federal forts built in 1862--63 to enable Union forces to hold New Bern. Mounted three 32-pounder cannons. Named for Col. Thomas J. C. Amory of the 17th Massachusetts Regiment.
Fort Anderson Near New Bern (Craven County) One of a series of Federal forts built in 1862--63 to enable Union forces to hold New Bern. Mounted four 32-pounder carronades, a 24-pounder howitzer, and a 12-pounder howitzer. Named for Lt. Col. Hiram Anderson of the 92nd New York Regiment, which comprised the fort's garrison.
Fort Anderson South of Wilmington (near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, New Hanover County) One of six major Confederate forts built to secure the port of Wilmington and the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad. Large earthwork fort armed with nine 32-pounder cannons, three 24-pounder cannons, and at least one Whitworth gun. Named for Col. George B. Anderson.
Fort Bartow Western Roanoke Island (Dare County) Confederate earthwork fort built to defend southern approaches to Roanoke Island through Croatan Sound. Mounted nine 32-pounder cannons (one rifled) and manned by Companies I and L, 17th North Carolina Regiment. Named for Brig. Gen. Francis Bartow, killed in the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run).
Fort Benjamin Near Newport (Carteret County) Large earthwork Union fort built to guard a railroad bridge over the Newport River and a large permanent troop encampment called Newport Barracks. Captured by Confederate forces in February 1864 but subsequently abandoned and reoccupied by Federal forces.
Fort Blanchard Western Roanoke Island (Dare County) Small Confederate earthwork fort built to defend approaches to Roanoke Island through Croatan Sound. Mounted four 32-pounder cannons and garrisoned by Company G, 31st North Carolina Regiment. Named for Brig. Gen. A. G. Blanchard.
Fort Branch Near Hamilton (Martin County) Confederate fort built on a 70-foot bluff known as Rainbow Banks on the south side of the Roanoke River. Protected vital railroad bridge at Weldon and naval facilities at Halifax and Edward's Ferry. Mounted 11 guns by 1864. Named for Brig. Gen. Lawrence O. Branch, killed at the Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam).
Fort Campbell Oak Island (Brunswick County) Confederate earthwork fort that guarded the western approaches to the Western Bar Channel of the Cape Fear River and helped protect Confederate blockade-runners leaving the mouth of the river. Garrisoned by Company F, 3rd North Carolina Artillery, and Company B, First North Carolina Heavy Artillery Battalion. Named for Col. Reuben P. Campbell, killed at the Battle of Gaines's Mill.
Fort Campbell South of Wilmington (New Hanover County) One of several Confederate earthwork forts on the east side of the Cape Fear River. Guarded a series of defensive river obstructions near the junction of the Cape Fear and Brunswick Rivers. Mounted one eight-inch Columbiad, one 18-pounder cannon, one 24-pounder cannon, two 32-pounder cannons, two 9-inch Dahlgrens, and one 30-pounder Parrott rifle.
Fort Caswell Near the mouth of the Cape Fear River (Brunswick County) Permanent masonry fort on the west bank of the Cape Fear River completed in 1838 for coastal defense. Seized by Confederate troops in April 1861, it became a mainstay in the Confederate defense of the river and Wilmington. Named for Richard Caswell, North Carolina's first governor and a Revolutionary War hero.
Fort Chase Near New Bern (Craven County) One of a series of Federal forts built in 1862--63 to enable Union forces to hold New Bern. Located on the north side of the Neuse River, it mounted three 24-pounder cannons.
Fort Clark Southwest end of Hatteras Island (Dare County) Confederate earthwork fort guarding the entrance to Hatteras Inlet. Irregular square fort with an 18-foot-thick parapet, mounting five Navy 32-pounder cannons and three 6-pounder cannons and manned by Capt. J. C. Lamb's company of the 17th North Carolina Regiment. Named for Governor Henry T. Clark.
Fort Comfort Plymouth (Washington County) One of many Federal installations built in defense of Union-held Plymouth. Located on the east side of the city. Captured during Brig. Gen. Robert F. Hoke's attack in April 1864 by the 35th North Carolina Regiment.
Fort Croatan Near New Bern (Craven County) One of a series of Federal forts built in 1862--63 to enable Union forces to hold New Bern. Manned by a garrison of Rhode Island troops until its capture in 1864 by the 65th North Carolina Regiment.
Fort Davis South of Wilmington (New Hanover County) One of several Confederate forts comprising the defense of the Cape Fear River approaches to Wilmington. Constructed early in the war and continually improved.
Fort Dixie 6 miles south of New Bern (Craven County) Confederate earthwork fort on the west bank of the Neuse River serving as part of the defenses of New Bern. Mounted four 24-pounder cannons and four 32-pounder cannons (one rifled) and garrisoned by Company G, 36th North Carolina Regiment.
Fort Dutton Northwest of New Bern (Craven County) One of a series of Federal forts built in 1862--63 to enable Union forces to hold New Bern. Small redoubt mounting a 100-pounder Parrott rifle and two 32-pounder cannons. Also known as Fort Union.
Fort Ellis 4 miles south of New Bern (Craven County) Confederate earthwork fort built as part of the defenses of New Bern. Mounted one 8-inch Columbiad and seven 32-pounder cannons and was garrisoned by Company E, 36th North Carolina Regiment. Named for Governor John W. Ellis.
Fort Fisher 18 miles south of Wilmington (New Hanover County) Confederate fort that was the world's largest earthwork fortification in 1865. Defended the New Inlet into the Cape Fear River. Mounted 44 guns (mostly smoothbore Columbiads) and assorted mortars, mines, and peripheral batteries. Featured a bombproof hospital. Named for Col. Charles F. Fisher, killed in the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run).
Fort Forrest Redstone Point (west side of Croatan Sound, opposite Roanoke Island, Dare County) Confederate floating battery built as part of the defenses of Roanoke Island. Mounted seven 32-pounder cannons and garrisoned by Company E, 17th North Carolina Regiment, and Company A, 31st North Carolina Regiment. Named for Confederate Cdre. French Forrest.
Fort Gaston 2 miles south of New Bern (Craven County) One of a series of Federal forts built in 1862--63 to enable Union forces to hold New Bern. Located on the south bank of the Trent River. Mounted seven 32-pounder cannons and guarded the point at which the main county road to Beaufort crossed the Trent River at Clermont Bridge to enter New Bern.
Fort Gray North of Plymouth (Washington County) One of many Federal installations built in defense of Union-held Plymouth. Overlooked the Roanoke River at Warren's Neck. Mounted one 100-pounder Parrott rifle and two smoothbore 32-pounder cannons. Named for Col. Charles Gray, 96th New York Infantry, killed at the First Battle of Kinston.
Fort Hal Near Plymouth (Washington County) One of many Federal installations built in defense of Union-held Plymouth. Located on the west bank of the Roanoke River, it protected both land and water approaches to the town. Mounted one 200-pounder cannon.
Fort Hatteras South end of Hatteras Island (Dare County) Confederate earthwork fort guarding Hatteras Inlet. Mounted several 32-pounder cannons, two 8-inch seacoast howitzers, and one 10-inch Columbiad. Garrisoned by companies of the 17th North Carolina Regiment. Captured in August 1861 by a Union fleet commanded by Cdre. Silas H. Stringham.
Fort Heckman Near Morehead City (Carteret County) Federal earthwork fort built in 1863 as part of the landward defenses of Morehead City. Mounted one 24-pounder flank howitzer, two smoothbore 32-pounder cannons, and one rifled 32-pounder cannon. Named for Brig. Gen. Charles P. Heckman.
Fort Hill 6 miles southeast of Washington (Beaufort County) Confederate earthwork fort built in 1861 in defense of the Pamlico River. Mounted two rifled 32-pounder cannons, three smoothbore 32-pounder cannons, and two 24-pounder cannons. Garrisoned by Companies B and I, 3rd North Carolina Artillery. Named for Maj. Gen. Daniel H. Hill.
Fort Holmes South of Wilmington (New Hanover County) One of several Confederate forts comprising the defense of the Cape Fear River approaches to Wilmington. Constructed early in the war and continually improved.
Fort Huger West end of Roanoke Island (Dare County) Largest of the Confederate defenses of Roanoke Island. Situated on Weir Point overlooking Croatan Sound. Mounted twelve 32-pounder cannons (two of them rifled) and garrisoned by a company of the 8th North Carolina Regiment. Named for Maj. Gen. Benjamin Huger.
Huggins Island Fort Huggins Island (Onslow County) Confederate earthwork fort built in 1861 in defense of Swansboro and Bogue Inlet. Mounted six 32-pounder cannons and garrisoned by Company B, 36th North Carolina Regiment.
Fort Johnston (Fort Pender) Southport (Brunswick County) Federal fort seized early in the war by Wilmington militia troops. Became part of the Confederate defenses of the lower Cape Fear. Renamed Fort Pender in 1863 in honor of Maj. Gen. William D. Pender.
Fort Lane 3 miles south of New Bern (Craven County) Confederate earthwork fort built as part of the defenses of New Bern. Manned by Company A, 3rd North Carolina Artillery (40th Regiment). Named for New Bern mayor Frederick Lane.
Fort Macon East of Atlantic Beach (Carteret County) Federal masonry fort seized early in the war by local militia forces commanded by Capt. Josiah Pender. Guarded Beaufort Inlet. Captured by Union forces on 25 Apr. 1862 after heavy bombardment.
Fort Ocracoke (Fort Morgan) Near Ocracoke (Beacon Island, Hyde County) Confederate earthwork fort built early in the war to guard Ocracoke Inlet from Union warships. Garrisoned by Companies B and K, 17th North Carolina Regiment. Abandoned 30 Aug. 1861 after Union forces captured Hatteras Inlet.
Fort Oregon North end of Hatteras Island (Dare County) Confederate earthwork fort on the south side of Oregon Inlet. Garrisoned by Companies I and L, 17th North Carolina Regiment. Abandoned 31 Aug. 1861 after Union forces captured Forts Hatteras and Clark at Hatteras Inlet.
Fort Rollins Blowing Rock (Watauga County) Union stockade built in 1865 by forces commanded by Maj. W. W. Rollins.
Fort Rowan Northwest of New Bern (Craven County) One of a series of Federal forts built in 1862--63 to enable Union forces to hold New Bern. Guarded the point at which the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad passed through Union works on the way from Kinston. Mounted a 100-pounder Parrott rifle, two 32-pounder cannons, two 3-inch rifles, and two 8-inch mortars. Named for navy commander S.C. Rowan.
Fort Spinola 1 mile south of New Bern (Craven County) One of a series of Federal forts built in 1862--63 to enable Union forces to hold New Bern. Anchored a line of earthwork forts running along Scott's (or Greenspring) Creek down to Fort Amory on the south bank of the Trent River. Mounted eight 32-pounder cannons. Named after Brig. Gen. Francis B. Spinola.
Fort Stevenson 1 mile northwest of New Bern (Craven County) One of a series of Federal forts built in 1862--63 to enable Union forces to hold New Bern. Secured the flank of a strong earthwork defensive line encircling New Bern on its western side. Mounted five 32-pounder cannons. Named for Brig. Gen. Thomas G. Stevenson.
Fort Strong South of Wilmington (New Hanover County) Largest of the region's Confederate Cape Fear River defenses. Fell to the Federal forces in 1865 prior to the fall of Wilmington.
Fort Thompson Near New Bern (Craven County) Confederate earthwork fort built in 1861 as part of the Neuse River defenses of New Bern. Mounted thirteen 32-pounder cannons and garrisoned by Company I, 10th North Carolina Regiment, and Company G, 40th North Carolina Regiment. Fell to Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside's forces in March 1862 during the Battle of New Bern.
Fort Totten Western edge of New Bern (Craven County) Largest of the Union forts built in 1862--63 to enable Union forces to hold New Bern. Its lines of entrenchments extended on either side to the Neuse and Trent Rivers. Named for the U.S. Army's chief engineer, Brig. Gen. Joseph G. Totten.
Fort Wessels Southwest of Plymouth (Washington County) One of many Federal installations built in defense of Union-held Plymouth. Named for Brig. Gen. Henry W. Wessels, Federal commander of the Plymouth garrison.
Fort Williams Near Plymouth (Washington County) One of many Federal installations built in defense of Union-held Plymouth. Earthwork fort anchoring the center of a line of earthworks enclosing the town's eastern side. Named for Brig. Gen. Thomas Williams.

 

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Comment: 

There was a fort at Elizabeth City named Fort Cobb that was involved in the battle of Elizabeth City. It was armed with 4-32 pdr. smoothbore cannons. The militiamen guarding the fort ran away prior to the battle. The crew of the CSS Beaufort manned two of the guns during the battle.

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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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