Southport in Brunswick County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Guardian of the Cape Fear River
Behind you is the Cape Fear River, flowing between Oak Island and Bald Head Island. During the war, vessels attempting to run the Federal blockade of Southern ports passed through this inlet en route to Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean islands and Cuba. They steamed back to Wilmington with tons of military supplies, which railroads transported to Petersburg and Richmond in Virginia to support Gen. Robert E. Lee’s
(left sidebar)On February 29, 1964, U.S. Navy Lt. William B. Cushing led a small party ashore at night to kidnap Confederate General Louis Hébert, Fort Johnston’s commanding officer. Hébert was away, so Cushing’s raiders took another officer to let the garrison know they had breached the fort’s security. Cushing took possession of Fort Johnston and Smithville (present-day Southport) for Federal forces on January 18, 1865, after Fort Fisher fell. Union troops assembled nearby for the assault on Fort Anderson in February.
(right sidebar) In 1745, the North Carolina Assembly authorized the construction of a fort here to protect Cape Fear River from the Spanish. Little more than a century later, Fort Johnston (named for colonial governor Gabriel Johnston; also called Fort Pender) and other confederate forts helped safeguard the river and Wilmington from attack by U.S. Navy forces. Fort Johnston remained an active military facility
Erected by Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 33° 55.059′ N, 78° 1.026′ W. Marker is in Southport, North Carolina, in Brunswick County. Marker is on East Bay Street east of South Davis Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Southport NC 28461, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Fort Johnston (a few steps from this marker); Josiah Martin (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Johnston (within shouting distance of this marker); Bald Head Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Memorial to North Carolina Militia (within shouting distance of this marker); (Map of the First 100 Lots) (within Mrs. Jessie Stevens Taylor (within shouting distance of this marker); Catalino Tingzon (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Southport.
More about this marker. Marker has a portrait of Maj. James Reilly, Confederate artillery in the center. On the left sidebar is a portrait of Lt. William B. Cushing. On the upper right is a photo of the Fort Jackson barracks in 1865, reproduced in Photo 3. Compare with Photo 4.
Also see . . . Fort Johnston, The Civil War. by Jack E. Fryar, Jr. (Submitted on January 15, 2008.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 15, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 3,260 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 15, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.