Forgotten Forts Series - Battery Buchanan (NC)

NFB22

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Battery Buchanan, built in late 1864, was a formidable earthwork battery designed to support both Fort Fisher which was about a mile distant and to defend the New Inlet of the Cape Fear River. The battery was named after Confederate Admiral Franklin Buchanan. The battery's armament was composed of 2 Columbiads and 2 Brooke Smoothbores. These guns were manned by CSN sailors under the command of Lt. (later Captain) Robert Chapman. The garrison was augmented by Confederate States Marines sent from Wilmington first under the command of Lt. John de Berniere Roberts before he was replaced by Lt. James Murdoch.

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(John Stanton 27 Jan 2010)

During the first Union assault on Fort Fisher in late December 1864, the Marine detachment at Battery Buchanan redeployed to Fort Fisher to help man guns there and repel the Union attack. It was during this time that more Marines, under the Wilmington Marine Detachment commander Captain Alfred Van Benthuysen, arrived with the remainder of his force to reinforce both Fort Fisher and Battery Buchanan.

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When Union land and naval forces renewed their attack on Fort Fisher in mid-January 1865, Battery Buchanan became a fall-back position for the Confederate defenders still able to withdrawal to the battery after the fort had fallen. Marines under Captain Van Benthuysen helped evacuate the wounded commanding officer of the District of Cape Fear, Major General William Whiting along with the Fort's commanding officer, Colonel William Lamb.

Determined to make a final stand at Battery Buchanan, the retreating Confederate forces found that the battery's garrison had withdrawn across the Cape Fear to the North Carolina mainland while spiking the guns of the battery prior to their departure. Finding their position untenable, Major James Reilly, whom Col. Lamb had relinquished command to, surrendered the remaining forces to Union troops upon their advance on Battery Buchanan.

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Today the remains of Battery Buchanan can be viewed as part of the Fort Fisher State Historic Site which was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961. The site is open to visitors and features a historic marker detailing Battery Buchanan at the site. There is additional information located at the park's visitor center/museum.

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(Bernard Fisher 11 Mar 2010)
 
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ErnieMac

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I visited Ft. Fisher and Battery Buchanan shortly after reading Confederate Goliath (more years ago than I care to remember). Unfortunately the elements have eroded a significant amount of both sites.
 

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
I visited Ft. Fisher and Battery Buchanan shortly after reading Confederate Goliath (more years ago than I care to remember). Unfortunately the elements have eroded a significant amount of both sites.

There definitely isn't much protection for Battery Buchanan on Federal Point and it's open to foot traffic.
 

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