Fort Fisher to commemorate the 151st anniversary of fort’s first battle

KURE BEACH — Fort Fisher State Historic Site will present the artillery program “We Kept Our Courage Up: The 151st Commemoration of the First Attack on Fort Fisher” on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Free and open to the public, the program will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include special tours, costumed interpreters, a free lecture, and periodic firings of the site’s 32-pounder seacoast rifled and banded cannon.

“The first battle isn’t as well known as the second, but Confederate defenders at Fort Fisher withstood an intense naval bombardment and a floating bomb in December 1864,” said assistant site manager John Moseley. “Three days after this program, we’ll host our Holiday Open House, so it’s a great opportunity for us to observe both history and the holidays.”

Cannon firings will be held at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.. The site’s special “Above the Scenes” tours will be offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tour tickets are $10 (plus tax) for adults and will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Children 12 and under are free. Historian and author Chris Fonveille will present a free lecture at 12:30 p.m. in the site’s auditorium. Local historian Richard Triebe will also be on hand to sign and sell books related to Fort Fisher history.

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 naval bombardments the fort fell to a Union assault on Jan. 15, 1865. With the capture of Fort Fisher, Wilmington’s port – “the Lifeline of the Confederacy” – was closed to foreign trade.

Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located at 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd. South, Kure Beach 28449. For information on the site, call 910-458-5538 or visit the web site.
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