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Fort Fisher State Historic Site

1610 Fort Fisher Boulevard, South, Kure Beach, NC 28449
+1 910-458-5538
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Ranked #5 of 10 Attractions in Kure Beach
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Historic Sites, Military Museums, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: At the dawn of the American Civil War, the Confederacy took control of land in southeastern North Carolina near one of the two outlets to the Atlantic Ocean from the Cape Fear River. Fort Fisher was the largest earthwork fortification in the Confederacy and was constructed to protect this vital opening. Ships running the Federal blockade of the port of Wilmington, known as blockade runners, supplied necessary goods to Confederate armies inland. By late 1863, the supply line through Wilmington was the last remaining supply route open to Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The Federal Army and Navy attacked Fort Fisher December 24, 1864. After two days of fighting with little headway, Federal commanders concluded that the fort was too strong to assault and withdrew their forces. However, they returned for a second attempt on January 12, 1865. For two and one-half days, Federal ships bombarded the fort on both land and sea face. On the fifteenth, more than 3,300 Union infantry, including the 27th U.S. Colored Troops, assaulted the land face. After several hours of fierce hand-to-hand combat, Federal troops captured the fort that night. The Confederate army evacuated their remaining forts in the Cape Fear area, and within weeks Union forces overran Wilmington. Once Wilmington fell, the supply line of the Confederacy was severed, and the Civil War was soon over. This site has been declared national historic landmark. Along with a restored palisade fence, approximately ten percent of the fort still stands. Guided tours, outside panel makers and museum exhibits provide a historical point of reference. Shaded by gnarled live oaks, a scenic trail leads tourists from the visitor center past the gigantic earthworks and around to the rear of the fort. Visitors are invited to tour the remains of the fort's land face featuring an impressive reconstruction of a 32-pounder seacoast gun at Shepherd's Battery. Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located in Kure Beach on what was then known as Federal Point and today as Pleasure Island.

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216 reviews from our community

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English first
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Top Contributor
600 reviews 600 reviews
273 attraction reviews
447 helpful votes 447 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2014

The Fort Fisher Historic Site offers visitors the chance to see one of the better preserved earthen forts from the US civil war. The fort itself was smaller than I had expected but still provides a good lesson on the importance of the fort in defense of Wilmington, NC. They advertise themselves as the most visited historical location in the... More

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Volcano, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014

Fort Fisher has it all. Great, clear information on one of the most important battles of the Civil War, a wonderful museum with lots of artifacts from the war, and informative outside walking tour and a short film. The inside map and narrative kept everyone's attention, including the children. What a treasure,and free to boot!

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Saint Joseph, Missouri
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014

In researching what to do during our visit to Kure Beach we stumbled upon Fort Fisher. Since my husband and son are both history buffs we decided to make a visit. The museum and information were great. Little hot on an August afternoon but well worth the visit.

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Wilmington, North Carolina
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2014

The exhibit area has expanded since our last visit. Also offered is a 10 min. movie on the significance of The Fort in the Civil War. Although we did not walk the grounds, it appears that more restoration is taking place outside. If you are a history buff, this is a must. Free or donation. Small gift shop & clean... More

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19 reviews 19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2014

There isn't much to see if you expect a brick & mortar fort. This is an earthen fort, but if you know the history & importance of Fort Fisher you will enjoy the visit. There is no cost to see the fort.

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Boone, North Carolina, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

At the end of a visit to any of the Brunswick County NC beaches consider taking a leisurely route home with ferry ride and a trip to an aquarium. On a recent October weekend at Oak Island we checked out at 11:00 a.m. and caught the South Port Ferry across the Cape Fear River to Fort Fisher and enjoyed an... More

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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2014

We traveled to Fort Fisher several weeks ago as my husband and I have been following the 150th anniversary of the Civil War since 2010. The museum is small with several fascinating exhibits and a well-versed staff. The outdoor exhibits are mostly naval. And, some of them are related to WWII. Walking along the walkways over the marsh and looking... More

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New Johnsonville, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014

It was my first visit and I loved it.Im a civil war buff and was very surprised.They have went to great trouble to make you think it's the 1860s again.

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Greenville, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014

We stopped by this attraction after a visit to the beach. The main building had a number of interesting exhibits, and a historic film to tell the story of Fort Fisher. My husband went on the guided tour, which he said was extremely informative. This is one of the best military sites we've visited.

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Cleveland, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014

Our son (8 years) fell in love with this place. A must see for history buffs, and even if you have no interest in history you need to go just for the trail around the fort. Instead of walking on the beach, our son wanted to walk the trail each night, which you can do after the museum is closed.... More

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