“Glory Enough for All,” a day-long event commemorating the kickoff for the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War in North Carolina, was held on Saturday, Jan. 15, at Fort Fisher State Historic Site in Kure Beach. The program focused on post-war reunions and efforts to memorialize the battle.
It was at this time that I donated a field manual , Casey's Tactics that was once the property of a Col Lewis Bell, who was at the time the commander of the 3th (of 4) Brigade of Adelbert Ames 2nd Division. It was during the second attack on Fort Fisher on January 15 1865 that Bell received a fatal wound. Bell died the next day. His wife Mary Anne (called Mollie) died just a few weeks later.
Fort Fisher below Wilmington was strategically located on the entrance to the Cape Fear River. It's construction of sand made it almost impervious to cannon fire from the Federal Fleet. The aspect of sand absorbing the effects of heavy ordnance emulated the Tower of Malakoff which had been constructed at Sevastopol, Russia, during the Crimean War. Fort Fisher was called the Malakof Tower of the west. Much of what remained of the fort after the battle has either been eroded by 145 years of hurricanes, or the building of a USAAF anti-submarine airfield during the 2nd World War. Almost half of the site facing the ocean is gone and what remains is in jeopardy of ruin. Battery Buchanan about a mile closer to the New Inlet is just a mound of sand.
A cannon or two would be placed between each hump.
...Colonel Louis Bell, was the son of Governor Samuel Bell and his second wife Lucy, was born in Chester, New Hampshire, on March 8, 1837. His siblings included Dr. Luther V. Bell, New Hampshire Senator James Bell, and the Honorable Samuel D. Bell, Chief Justice of New Hampshire. He attended Derry and Gilford Academies and at eighteen graduated from Brown University. In 1857, after he was admitted to the Bar, Bell opened a law office in Farmington, New Hampshire. He married Mary Anne (Mollie) Persis Bouton, third daughter of Rev. Dr. Bouton, of Concord, New Hampshire on June 8, 1859. The couple had two children: a daughter, Marian, born September 5, 1860 and a son, Louis, born December 5, 1864.... University of New Hampshire Library
The first volume (there originally were 3) of Brigadier General Silas Casey's Infantry Tactics, which included the School of the Soldier, and School of the Company, inscribed with the owners name ..Col Louis Bell, 4th New Hampshire Vols, Feb 22, 1863 (2).. It was purchased for me in the 1980's by my good wife Suzanne while we lived (exiled) in California. How it came to California is a mystery to me. Bell was reputed for being very well versed in military tactics and carried his manuals where ever he went. I had kept it with me safe ever since. After a sickness a couple of years ago I decided it was high time to distribute some of my papers and books, therefore with that in mind I attempted at first to contact the NC Department of Archives. I got no response; I contacted the New Hampshire National Guard, again nothing. I was put in contact with descendants of the Bell family, but it also elicited no interest. Finally I went to Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham NC, the curator kindly put me in touch with Fort Fisher and finally Paul Laird and the Friends of Fort Fisher. The Friends Of Fort Fisher graciously accepted this for the fort to be made into a display so that the posterity of the State of North Carolina may enjoy this piece of history. Some photos are below...
Casey's Infantry Tactics 1862, frontispiece showing a regiment in line ad the positions of the officers.
Col Bell's name in his own hand located on the front cover. The manual is also signed on page 24 as was the practice in the 19th century.
(1) The 4th New Hampshire wore a peculiar type of hat to the war and it's service in South Carolina at Hilton Head. It was called a Whipple hat, named after the units first colonel a light pressed felt, sky blue hat with a skirt which ran around the sides and back. Photo borrowed from Dirty Billy's Hats a reenactor source. This is the penultimate source for historical hats. I do not know of any other regiment which wore this particular hat.