The Pulpit, Fort Fisher, N.C
Publisher: Alexander Gardner
Medium: Photographic print
Taken in January 1865 by O’Sullivan, The Pulpit, Fort Fisher, N.C. shows Union troops behind the fortifications at Fort Fisher not long after it had been recaptured. The fort was a key Confederate defense that guarded trading routes from the sea to Wilmington, North Carolina and was vital for blockade runners to import and export goods from elsewhere in the Confederate States and abroad. With the fort’s capture these routes were severed.
The Union Army, with naval support, had attempted to take Fort Fisher in December 1864 but heavy bombardment of the fort proved ineffective. With victory in the Second Battle of Fort Fisher, Gardner notes that 'seventy-five guns…and nineteenth hundred prisoners, were the immediate fruits and trophies of the victory'.