This Week in the Civil War - #1008
News of Ft. Fisher’s capitulation spread rapidly throughout both the North and the South, since the fort’s capture essentially cut off Wilmington, North Carolina, the South’s last, major access point for blockade runners. The North rejoiced in the fort’s capture, while accusations flew in the South, especially against General Braxton Bragg who continuously refused to relieve the besieged garrison. Bragg stubbornly insisted that the Union forces besieging Fisher had been too strong for his nearby troops to successfully attack. Regardless, few reports to either the North or South accurately reflected that, on the day after the fall of the Confederate fortification, Union troops—most probably intoxicated and intent on looting the fort—had accidentally exploded Fisher’s main magazine, killing or wounding an estimated 104 Union soldiers and sailors.