January 8, 2010

Fort Fisher Commemorates the 145th Anniversary of the Second Battle with Artillery Demonstrations and Special Programs

Commemoration Focuses on the Role of African-Americans During the Civil War

Kure Beach, N.C.: The year 2010 marks the 145th 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 a three-day anniversary event January 15-17, 2010. History will unfold as the Fort Fisher State Historic Site marks the 145th anniversary of this major battle.

This year's program takes a new look at Fort Fisher as it was during the Civil War. The event kicks off on Friday, January 15 at 6:00pm at UNCW's Fisher Student Center with a panel discussion entitled "Black Men Bearing Freedom: U.S. Colored Troops and their impact on North Carolina" that explores the experiences of the U.S. Colored Troops. Continuing with this theme, Dr. Richard Reid, author of "Freedom for Themselves: North Carolina's Black Soldiers in the Civil War Era," will present a talk on Saturday at Fort Fisher State Historic Site.

On Saturday, approximately 300 costumed soldiers will clash in a Civil War re-enactment of the 2nd Battle of Fort Fisher. Lantern light tours and evening firing of the site's 32-pound rifled and banded cannon will highlight this anniversary program. Visitors can see artillery and infantry demonstrations and walk through Union and Confederate camps established on the fort's grounds beginning at 10:00 a.m. Earplugs for noise protection may be needed. Tickets for nighttime vignettes (seen on guided tours) will be $5 for adults and $3 for children. The 30-minute tours will start at 7:00 p.m.; the last tour leaves at 8:30 p.m. Daytime activities are free and open to the public.

A second recreation of the Battle of Fort Fisher on Sunday will begin at 2:00 p.m. Sunday's event will also showcase musicians performing popular period music throughout the day. Local authors will present their work and sign books before and after the battle scenario. The event concludes at 4:00 p.m.

This program is made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It 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, so bring your earplugs and dress warmly. Please contact Fort Fisher State Historic Site for details: 910-458-5538 or visit http://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. After two massive bombardments, the fort fell to a Union infantry assault on Jan. 15, 1865, and the port was closed to foreign trade. The Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located in Kure Beach, just 20 miles south of Wilmington, N.C. at 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd. S., along US Highway 421 South.
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