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The Battle for the Gibraltar of the South
by Greg Ahlgren
The Confederacy totters.
While two armies inflict mutual carnage in a series of virtual draws, the Union Navy slowly
encircles the South, closing its harbors one by one. Wilmington, NC remains the last port
through which flow the imported military supplies necessary to keep the Army of Northern
Virginia in the field. And Wilmington is protected by Fort Fisher, the impregnable "Gibraltar
of the South." The mission of the Union Navy is clear: Capture the fort and the war will be
over in weeks. As an armada of sixty gunboats and transports loaded with 9,000 Union soldiers
bears down on the hunkered rebels, Confederate Sergeant Caleb Cuthbait, Union sailor Patrick
Sheedy, and local widow Elizabeth Tuckerman must each decide how much they are willing to risk
in the battle that will determine the fate of two nations.
Ahlgren's dramatic Civil War novel details the four-day pivotal battle for Fort Fisher, North Carolina,
in that conflict's waning days. Told from the point of view of enlisted personnel on both sides,
as well as a local civilian, Fort Fisher is the first American novel to focus on the role of the
Union Navy and the life of a Union sailor.
Praise for Fort Fisher
War is typically viewed through a panoramic lens—maps of disputed territories, troop formations
pitted against battle lines, the bloody engagements on which history turns. In Fort Fisher:
The Battle for the Gibraltar of the South, novelist and attorney Greg Ahlgren relives this
decisive naval battle of the U.S. Civil War through beleaguered civilians and soldiers on both
sides of the conflict, people for whom the danger was daily and personal, their decisions casting
shadows long into their future.
In the tradition of Stephen Crane and Gore Vidal, Ahlgren brings the reader in lockstep with the
residents and vagrants of Wilmington, NC as the Union Navy chokes the only remaining port left to
supply the tattered Confederacy. Everyone knows how this disaster ends. In Fort Fisher, Ahlgren
shows us how it might have been lived.
~ Helen Hanson, Bestselling author of 3 LIES and The Masters CIA Thriller Series. www.HelenHanson.com
Greg Ahlgren is a criminal defense lawyer in Manchester, New Hampshire. He received his B.A.
degree from Syracuse University and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of
Law. He has been a criminal justice professor, a state legislator, and a political activist,
and has appeared as a frequent guest on both national and regional television and radio shows
on true crime and historical issues. His books include the alternate history time-travel novel
Prologue and the international thriller The Medici Legacy, and together with
Stephen Monier he co-authored the true crime book Crime of the Century: The Lindbergh Kidnapping Hoax.
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