We left Fort Fisher and drove US-421 south to its southern terminus, about a mile and a half where it ends at "The Rocks." There is also an outlying Confederate battery where the remnants of the Fort Fisher garrison surrendered to Union forces on the night of January 15, 1865. This still stands and is called Battery Buchanan, named after Confederate admiral Franklin Buchanan who commanded the CSS Virginia in the famous battle with the USS Monitor. Franklin Buchanan also commanded the CSS Tennessee at the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864.
Now it appears to be more of a sand dune, but it wasn't looking like that back during the war. There are markers and you can even walk on this one. Walking on the remaining mounds of Fort Fisher is forbidden now, but i remember walking ion them nay times in the 1960s and 1970s.
It was built to command the entrance of New Inlet, which goes to the Cape Fear River which goes to Wilmington, North Carolina. Blockading Wilmington was particularly difficult during the Civil War as it had two entrances, the original Old Inlet and New Inlet separated by Frying Pan Shoals extending some 40 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean.
. New Inlet was by far the more popular entrance for the sleek, shallow-draft blockade-runners. Fort Fisher was built to keep the blockaders at bay so the runners could come in or go out.