Just a few dozen miles south of Wilmington, the Civil War-era military bastion was built to guard the important port city from Union attack up the Cape Fear River. Once North Carolina seceeded from the Union in 1861, the city -- and thus the Fort -- became a prime target for the Union.
On Jan. 19, the Fort Fisher State Historic Site will host a living history program to commemorate the anniversary of the Second Battle of fort Fisher, the largest land-sea battle of the war. Here are excerpts from the state's news release:
"Kure Beach, N.C.: The year 2013 marks the 148th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. ... Thanks to the recently released Steven Spielberg film “Lincoln” and its multiple references to Wilmington, North Carolina and the Battle of Fort Fisher, millions of movie-goers are now more familiar with the fort’s important historical role as the last fort to fall to Union troops during the Civil War. Fort Fisher embraces this new spotlight and welcomes history buffs and fans of the movie year-round to explore its Civil War battlefield, monuments, museum, and special events.
Volunteers in period costume will bring history to life throughout the day. Guest speakers include local historian Ernie Kniffen, who will discuss new findings on his extensive research of Confederate sailors and Marines. Author Richard Triebe will sign books and discuss N.C. troops who were captured at Fort Fisher and sent to a prison camp in Elmira, N.Y. Also on site will be author, educator, and member of the Wilmington Railroad Museum board of trustees, James Burke, who will sign and promote his book, “The Wilmington and Weldon Railroad in the Civil War.” At 12:30 p.m., the N.C. Underwater Archaeology Unit will dedicate a new highway marker for the Civil War blockade runner Modern Greece, which ran aground and sank near Fort Fisher.
Fort Fisher’s programs afford visitors a wonderful opportunity to learn more about local history and Fort Fisher's role in the Civil War. Fort Fisher, the largest earthen fortification in the Confederacy, once protected the port of Wilmington and the vital blockade running trade on the Cape Fear River. After two massive bombardments the fort fell to a Union infantry assault on January 15, 1865. With the capture of Fort Fisher, Wilmington’s port—the “Lifeline of the Confederacy”—was closed to foreign trade.
Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located in Kure Beach, just 20 miles south of Wilmington, at 1
Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located in Kure Beach, just 20 miles south of Wilmington, at 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd. S., along US Highway 421. Visitors, residents, and motorists are advised of loud explosions during cannon firings and artillery demonstrations. ... "
If you've never been to a re-enactment, you'll want to catch this...especially if you're a Civil War buff. And enjoy a chilly walk on the beach while you're there.