January 6, 2009

Fort Fisher Commemorates the 144th Anniversary of the Second Battle with Artillery Demonstrations and Special Programs

Date: Saturday, January 17, 2009
Time: 10:00am until 4:00pm.

Kure Beach, N.C.: The year 2009 marks the 144th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War. To commemorate the Second Battle of Fort Fisher (the largest land-sea battle of the Civil War), the Fort Fisher State Historic Site will stage "Fort Fisher Then and Now," an all-day event on Saturday, January 17, 2009 from 10:00am until 4:00pm. This year's program explores historic Fort Fisher through the lens of Civil War photography. Highlighting the event is a special 3-D show of famous Civil War photographs and rare, recently discovered wartime images presented by Bob Zeller, author and president of the Center for Civil War Photography. Zeller's show will for the first time include historic images of Fort Fisher taken by Timothy O'Sullivan, who photographed the fort shortly after its capture in January 1865. Wearing 3-D glasses, visitors will experience Civil War photography as it was meant to be seen-many images of the war were taken with stereoscopic cameras. The 3-D show will be held at 1:00pm and 3:00pm (tickets required).

Activities include wet-plate photography demonstrations, costumed interpreters explaining large scale O'Sullivan images placed around the fort to illustrate the event's "then and now" theme, and hands-on, take-home activities for children. Infantry and artillery demonstrations will occur throughout the day and visitors are invited to explore the grounds of the fort while enjoying period music provided by the Huckleberry Brothers and local musician, John Golden. Also opening on January 17, 2009, is a new temporary exhibit on Civil War photography and Timothy O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan is recognized as one of the most important field photographers of his era. His haunting images reveal the devastation wrought upon Fort Fisher by the Union naval bombardment.

Saturday's activities begin at 10:00am with activities and demonstrations occurring throughout the day. Muskets and field artillery will be fired during the program. Staff and volunteers dressed in period Civil War uniforms will conduct talks about equipment, uniforms and weapons. Muskets and field artillery will be fired during the program. To top off the demonstrations, the 32-pound rifled cannon will be fired from atop Shepherd's Battery. The commemoration concludes at 4:00pm.

This outstanding educational program affords visitors a great opportunity to learn more about local history and Fort Fisher's role in the Civil War. Visitors, residents, and motorists are advised of loud explosions during cannon firings and artillery demonstrations on Saturday January 17 between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm, so bring your earplugs and dress warmly. Tickets are required for the Bob Zeller 3-D show. Tickets go on sale the week before the program. Please contact Fort Fisher State Historic Site for details: 910-458-5538 or visit www.fortfisher.nchistoricsites.org. All other activities are free and donations are always welcome.

Before its fall in January 1865, Fort Fisher protected blockade-runners en route to Confederate Wilmington with war supplies. It was the largest and strongest earthen fort in the South. The Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located in Kure Beach, just 20 miles south of Wilmington, N.C. along US Highway 421 South.

For a FREE Visitors Guide to Wilmington & N.C.'s Cape Fear Coast please call 1-866-266-9690. For a complete Calendar of Events, attraction listings, and leisure packages, visit www.gocapefearcoast.com.

Media Contact
Connie Nelson, Communications/PR Director
(866) 266-9690 or (910) 341-4030

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