Into the Hurricane of Fire, The U.S. Marines and the Assault on Fort Fisher, 15 January 1865

The Friends of Fort Fisher will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Fisher on 17-18 January 2014.  The opening ceremony will occur on 17Jan from 1100-1200 at the Fort Fisher State Historic site located at
1610 Fort Fisher Blvd South, Kure Beach, NC 28449. Many events are scheduled for the day including a battle scenario and multiple tours and demonstrations throughout the weekend. 

USMC participation in the commemoration events includes musical and ceremonial support. Marines from the Single Marine Program (SMP) will be also be working with the USMC Historical Company to provide a professional educational program focusing on the Marine Corps' role and impact on the historic site. During two days of activities, the Marine Corps Historical Interpretive Team, through the use of battle walks, historical weapons demonstrations, and extensive exhibits will tell the story of those Marines and show the relevance and impact of the battle and its participants on today's Corps. 

The Fort Fisher campaign, which spanned from 24 Dec 1864 to Jan 1865, consisted of two separate battles in which Marines from both sides took part. Marines had a significant role both supporting the landings and taking part in the assaults, which ultimately brought about the capture of the fort on 16 Jan 1865. The second attack on the fort has been held as a model of Army-Navy cooperation from landing troops, to battlefield communication and supporting fires.

This event is significant because Fort Fisher was the last port the Confederates had on the Atlantic Ocean. After the Union had overtaken the structure, the southern Army had no access to global trade. This directly hindered them from receiving supplies. The Civil War ended 3 months after the Battle of Fort Fisher.

A critical aspect of Marine Corps culture is an insistence on honoring the sacrifice of those who have gone before. Remembering the Battle of Fort Fisher provides a way for both service members and citizens to reflect on the historic events that have shaped our Nation and people.

Of the 17 Medals of Honor awarded to Marines during the Civil War, more than a third was a result of the attacks on Fort Fisher. Six Marines, four ashore and two on board ship, received the Medal for their actions during the campaign.