Illustration of the War in AmericaThe Illustrated London News, vol. 44, no. 1241, p. 76.
January 23, 1864
Our Special Artist in the South writes as follows concerning the accompanying Illustration:--"Herewith I send you a sketch of Fort Fisher, commanding the approach to Cape Fear River, the entrance to Wilmington, North Carolina. I was down there one night, and, as it is twenty-five miles from the town, it was impossible to get back that night, so I had to rough it in a casemate till morning. As luck would have it, we discovered a blockade-running steamer, the Hansa, under our guns at dawn, and at the same time the Yankee blockaders also became aware of her presence and opened fire, thinking, as she had already got inside the bar (the line of white breakers just seaward of her), they would destroy her before she made the inlet. To get within range they had to expose themselves to the metal of the fort, which soon drove them off, leaving the Hansa at liberty to make her way safely into the river. The distant point of land is Cape Fear. Fort Fisher is one of the strongest coast defences I have seen, not excepting any of those at Charleston, that have hitherto held an entire iron-clad fleet at bay."