Despite the Union’s control of the Outer Banks early in the war, Wilmington remained a Confederate port through 1864. Engineers had built a series of forts, batteries, and fieldworks around the city which aided in continued Confederate occupation. These obstacles were built to protect both the rail lines into the city and Wilmington’s port facilities—the preferred harbor for blockade runners due to its dual access. Following a failed Union expedition to capture Fort Fisher in 1864, Union forces successfully stormed the fort in 1865 and took the port of Wilmington soon after. The port’s capture precipitated later victories at Fayetteville and Goldsboro and brought an end to Confederate rebellion in North Carolina.