KURE BEACH, N.C. – Three hundred costumed soldiers will clash in a Civil War re-enactment of the 2nd Battle of Fort Fisher on Jan. 16-17, 2010. History will unfold as the Fort Fisher State Historic Site marks the 145th anniversary of this major battle.
The anniversary event will kick off Friday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m. with a panel discussion “Black Men Bearing Freedom: U.S. Colored Troops and their impact on North Carolina” at the Fisher Student Center at UNC-Wilmington. The panel is co-hosted by the university’s Upperman African American Cultural Center and is made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a nonprofit organization that is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“During the weekend, visitors will enjoy artillery and infantry demonstrations and walking through Union and Confederate camps established on the fort’s grounds,” said Fort Fisher State Historic Site Manager Jim Steele.
On Saturday, Jan. 16, Dr. Richard Reid will speak at the fort; he is the author of “Freedom for Themselves: North Carolina’s Black Soldiers in the Civil War Era.” A staged battle, lantern light tours and an evening firing of the site’s 32-pound rifled and banded cannon will add excitement. 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 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 showcase musicians performing popular period music throughout the day. Local authors will present their work and sign books before and after the battle scenario.
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 Jan. 15, 1865, and the port was closed to foreign trade.
The Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located at 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd S, Kure Beach, N.C. 28449. For more information on this program or the site, call (910) 458-5538 or visit www.nchistoricsites.org/fisher/.
Fort Fisher State Historic Site is part of the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information is available 24/7 at www.ncculture.com.
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