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Exploding shells and a blaze of musketry’: The 153rd Second Battle of Fort Fisher Anniversary Commemoration

Event Description

     Fort Fisher's 153rd anniversary commemoration will focus on telling the stories of those who displayed bravery and valor during their actions at Fort Fisher. Open to the public, the program will be held from 9 am to 4 pm. Outside the museum, reenactors will bring the fort to life. Infantry units will be on hand to talk with visitors about camp life, garrison duty, conduct the manual of arms and firing demonstrations. Artillery units will conduct drills and firing demonstrations consisting of the Historic Site’s Rifled and Banded 32-pound cannon, the Site’s bronze 12-pound Napoleon cannon, and a 10-pound Parrott Rifle. 

     Throughout the day,visitors can enjoy the sounds of live 19th Century music, as provided by Masonboro Parlor.  In addition, local period photographer Harry Taylor will be bringing his 1860s traveling wet-plate photography studio taking pictures throughout the day. Learn about historic photographer Timothy O’Sullivan and the process needed to create photos, and the how the two helped historians understand the battle for Fort Fisher.

     The key note speaker for the program will be Dr. Keith Holland, who will speak at 12:30 pm in the site's auditorium.  In the early 1980s, Dr. Holland uncovered the Maple Leaf, a Union Troop transport sunk in Jacksonville, Florida, that contained the worldly possessions of the men from six Federal regiments who would take part in the attack on Fort Fisher. Artifacts recovered from this ship have brought about a deeper understanding of the material culture of Civil War soldiers.  

      For the young and young at heart, a pair of Junor Reserves kids activities will be held. First will be our “School of the Soldier,” educating visitors about the military life of the Civil War soldier. Visitors will learn about the skills it takes to be good soldier by learning the manual of arms and how the muskets were loaded. Secondly, visitors will be able to learn about Civil War communications including secret codes and transmission devices. Making sure the message got through could determine victory or defeat. Learn about the various methods soldiers used to encrypt their messages using cipher and code disks. All programming is made possible through the support of the Friends of Fort Fisher, New Hanover County, the town of Carolina Beach and the town of Kure Beach. The program is free, though there is a fee for some special tours and participation in a flag raffle. Donations are appreciated.






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