National Geographic : 1961 Apr
Another moment and we are under the mound upon which stands the fort, and eagerly questioned for news. 'The news is good all round.'" Cheers rang out. "'Three times three for General John ston; six times six for General Lee'; and in mirth and laughter and song the night wears away." As the blockade tightened, port after port either fell into Federal hands or, tightly guarded, became useless. In early 1865, only Wilmington remained open, the mouth of its harbor protected by Fort Fisher. Lee decided that if Fort Fisher fell, he would have to evacuate Richmond. In January, 1865, a Navy-Army force bombarded and then captured it. Vizetelly arrived in time for the final battle (left). Shells tore at the fort, and he saw three men (fore ground) killed by flying fragments. Another shot scattered a reserve stack of ammunition, and stretcher-bearers threaded their way among artil lerymen serving heavy siege guns. Wilmington sealed, the Confederacy could no longer import critical supplies - medicines, rifles, raw materials - that somehow kept its shaky war economy in operation. Another nail had been driv en into its coffin. 489 KODACHROME BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHER THOMAS NEBBIA $ N.G.5 .