Fort Fisher (3)
Fort Fisher (3) (1864-1865) - A Union U.S. Civil War Fort established in 1864 near Petersburg, Dinwiddie County, Virginia. Named Fort Fisher after 1st Lieutenant Otis Fisher, 8th U.S. Infantry, who died on 3 Oct 1864 of wounds received at the Battle of Peebles Farm 30 Sep 1864. Abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war.
History of Fort Fisher
The Union seige operations against the Confederate lines around Petersburg began in June 1864 as Confederate forces fell back to a defensive line around the city. Union forces began to build a continuous seige line around the Confederate lines capturing new ground to complete the encirclement. Fortifications included earthworks forts, gun batteries and entrenchments that allowed the Union forces to place "one man per yard" along the ever lengthening line.
Fort Fisher was initially established on 3 Oct 1864 as a square earthworks redoubt mounting seven guns. Rebuilt in January-March 1865, as a larger, bastioned fortification enclosing 4.3 acres providing positions for nineteen field guns. This second fort had a rectangular trace with four bastions, one at each angle. Inside the compound were three large rectangular bombproof powder magazines that were in traverse of the bastions. Fifteen of the guns positions fired through embrasures and four guns were positioned en-barbette on the bastions. Fort Fisher was reportedly the largest of the Union fortifications at Petersburg with a garrison size of 300. It required some 2,058 labor days to complete.
Fort Fisher was one of several fortifications that comprised what was known as the "fish hook" line on the southwestern side of Petersburg. It was placed at the curved end of the hook protecting a large signal tower that stood at the center of the curved section. The fort directly faced the Confederate defenses and was situated between Fort Welch to the west and Fort Conahey to the east with entrenchments connecting them.
At the completion of Fort Tracy in January 1865 the Union line around Petersburg was 32 miles in length, with some 36 forts and 50 gun batteries.
With the general advance of Union troops on 2 Apr 1865 toward Petersburg, the Confederate line was broken and overnight General Robert E. Lee withdrew his troops from Petersburg ending the seige on 3 Apr 1865. The whole of the Union army followed Lee toward Appomattox and in a series of actions that rendered escape impossible, Lee was forced to surrender on 9 Apr 1865. The seige line fortifications around Petersburg were effectively abandoned on or about 3 Apr 1865, some 9 months after the siege began and 6 days before the end of the war.
Part of the Petersburg National Battlefield. Markers, interpretive panels along with the earthworks remains of the fort. The earthworks outline and the bastions are clearly visible. Some surviving gun embrasures, platforms, ramps, and sections of banquettes.
Visited: 2 Apr 2012