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a cannon on top of the fort, not sure what type of gun it was though
Fort Fisher NC Historical Site
Closest available address
1610 Ft. Fisher Blvd South, Kure Beach, NC 28449
Summer = Tues.-Sat., 9-5. Sun. 1-5. Closed Mondays. Other seasons vary.
Best time to visit
Fort Fisher was a critical fort for the Confederacy in the US Civil War. It protected the port of Wilmington, NC, which was the last major port to be captured on the Eastern seaboard near the end of the war in 1865. While only a small portion of the fort remains today, the visitor center is informative, and a beach is nearby.
Fort Fisher, which was designed after a Russian fort from the Crimean war, was a large earthen and sand fort on a peninsula near the mouth of the Cape Fear River. As other ports were lost, the importance of Wilmington and hence Fort Fisher grew, especially for the Army of Northern Virginia. Starting with a few simple batteries at the start of the war, towards the end of the conflict, Ft. Fisher had grown to an impressive fortification over a mile wide with more than 50 guns. As it was built from earth and sand, it could withstand naval bombardments and could be rebuilt quickly. The Union attacked twice via land and sea, once unsuccessfully in late 1864 and again successfully in early 1865.
Today, only about 10% of the fort remains; the rest has been lost to time, erosion and development. There is a combination paved trail and boardwalk trail that circles the fort. You have to use your imagination a bit to consider how it appeared during the war. One section includes a set of stairs that if you walk to the top provides a reasonable perspective from the Confederate’s vantage point. The small visitor center has a number of historical displays including a very good topographical map with lights and narration which covers the troop movements and overall battle. There are additional displays as well such as weapons and uniforms and flags. From a visitor perspective, the museum was more interesting and more informative than the fort. This park is located along the Atlantic Ocean, so you should expect breezy conditions. A beach is just a short walk from the visitor center. Park guides in period uniforms occasionally lead tours of the fort, and a 12-pounder cannon is periodically fired. This site will appeal to military history buffs but will have limited interest for a general audience.
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