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Fort Fisher State Historic Site

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Address: 1610 Fort Fisher Boulevard, South, Kure Beach, NC 28449
Phone Number: +1 910-458-5538
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Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Hours:
Tue - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description:

At the dawn of the American Civil War, the Confederacy took control of land...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Very good
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Great place to visit!

My husband and I went yesterday, January 16 2016, to the Civil War Reenactment at the Fort and loved it. We have visited several times and this was the second time seeing the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 weeks ago
Stephanie H
via mobile
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280 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

My husband and I went yesterday, January 16 2016, to the Civil War Reenactment at the Fort and loved it. We have visited several times and this was the second time seeing the reenactment. It's a great place to visit and learn. The museum and grounds are clean and well kept. The museum is very interesting and it's free so... More 

Helpful?
Thank Stephanie H
Holly Springs, North Carolina
Level Contributor
111 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2016

If you are in to history, especially Civil War History, you should visit the Fort Fisher Historic Site. The Fort is an Earth Work Fort....so the Ocean and 150 years of time have taken their toll. There are restored areas and a Visitor Center/Museum. Since this is State funded they are closed on Mondays... and some of the areas could... More 

Helpful?
Thank AndyMc65
Cape Fear, North Carolina
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2016

Fort Fisher was the lion's share of the defending Southern Batteries to keep the Cape Fear River open and break the Federal Blockades of the river's mouth, allowing the famed Blockade Runners to bring in supplies--nearby Wilmington was the last open port of the Confederacy. A lovely museum explains the battle, and its' significance, and that, until the bombing of... More 

Helpful?
Thank WalterFive
Asheboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
82 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2015

This is a good place to visit if your into History. There is not a lot to do here, but brush up on some things that happened in North Carolina during the Civil War.

Helpful?
Thank Sandra D
Sanford, North Carolina
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2015

While I'm not a history buff, I enjoyed the exhibits in the museum along with a cute little gift shop. The walk about the property is very interesting, and tours are available if you desire to learn more. Definitely, stop here before heading to the aquarium.

Helpful?
Thank Adventurebiund
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2015

If you are a history buff and interested in lots of artifacts and informative narratives, don't miss this place.

Helpful?
Thank Liz B
King, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2015

We got there a little late, but I have been there a lot before this trip. It is a really great place if you want to know about our part in the Civil War!

Helpful?
Thank Judy F
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2015

Combine this with a visit to the Aquarium to make the most of an afternoon. They have many artifacts, videos, literature, & articles about the civil war as well as yearly real life battle re-enactments. This place is free, just give a small donation.

Helpful?
Thank Dan B
Edgerton, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2015

They do a very nice job of telling the story of the significance that Fort Fisher played in the Civil War. A pleasant walkway that is clean, and well maintained with display boards. The museum is small with an orientation movie and several displays and narrated dioramas that help tell the story of the fort and battles at the end... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jim R
Greenville, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2015

very interesting, very informative, short film, personal very helpful and knowledgable about the fort and the battle

Helpful?
Thank Ann S

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