The 150th Anniversary of the Battle for Fort Fisher

In January I had the opportunity to attend the sesquicentennial events for the Second Battle of Fort Fisher. Since a rainy Saturday in 2008 – I have attended the events surrounding the Second Battle of Fort Fisher . The weather isn’t always pleasant but the richness of the history flowing around the events are always worthy. After all, who doesn’t love firing of heavy artillery, people in period dress, and lectures of days long past? This year, as a part of the 150th there was a reenactment….on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, as beautiful a January day as you could wish for, I stood on the South side of the mound to watch the battle. On Sunday I watched from the north side.  As you can see from the sketch below much of the original fort has been reclaimed by the ocean; and I have no doubt the small scale of the reenactment did not come close to showing reality. However, the estimate I have heard of almost 900 reenactors and over 28, 000 spectators enjoyed a good show.

This hand-drawn overlay found at the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area offices, near the site of the fort's telegraph station, shows both its massive scale and how much has been lost to erosion or demolition.  Fort Fisher's palisade, a 9-foot-high fence constructed of sharpened pine tree trunks (as opposed to the recreated cedar version that girds Federal Point today) spanned the Land Face from Shepherd's Battery to the Atlantic shoreline.  It would have extended beyond the lower right-hand corner of the photograph.  Dams constructed in the late-1800s by the US Army Corps of Engineers, spanning where blockade runners once rounded Federal Point (then Confederate Point) just southwest of the fort at New Inlet, as well as road construction during the 20th Century, altered the peninsula's shoreline.

This hand-drawn overlay found at the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area offices, near the site of the fort’s telegraph station, shows both its massive scale and how much has been lost to erosion or demolition. Fort Fisher’s palisade, a 9-foot-high fence constructed of sharpened pine tree trunks (as opposed to the recreated cedar version that girds Federal Point today) spanned the Land Face from Shepherd’s Battery to the Atlantic shoreline. It would have extended beyond the lower right-hand corner of the photograph. Dams constructed in the late-1800s by the US Army Corps of Engineers, spanning where blockade runners once rounded Federal Point (then Confederate Point) just southwest of the fort at New Inlet, as well as road construction during the 20th Century, altered the peninsula’s shoreline.

Over the course of the two days I took over 500 photographs (I’m only sharing a few). I hope you will enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

as the day began the rebel forces are seen raising the flag on the fort

as the day began the rebel forces are seen raising the flag on the fort

There were plenty of sights to see before the battle like this blacksmith showing his trade.

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 blacksmith

And this photographer taking old photographs.

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 photographer

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 rebel cannon

 

As well as all the battle encampments around the area. Although I regret leaving my visit to the Union Camp until Sunday. It rained Saturday night and Sunday morning and the weather caused those guys to breakdown early. It was gone by the time I attempted to visit (I heard it was impressive though)

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 camp

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 camp 2

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 confederate flag

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 federal forces flag

It was really neat to watch the battle develop. I took a lot of photos during the battle, both days, but this is my favorite. The fife and drum coming along behind.

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 federal forces fife and drum

  I just can’t help but love the firing of the cannons!

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 firing the cannon

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 firing the cannon 2Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 firing the cannon 1

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 federal forces 2

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 battle 2

These are a couple of photos I manipulated a bit.

flag

drums

On Saturday night we took the lantern tour. Ours was the 5:45 tour….just at dusk! It was beautiful and educational as we were able to ‘visit’ with five of the personalities associated with fort Fisher.Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 lantern tour guide

Fort Fisher Reinactment 2015 lantern tour

All in all it was a great weekend. I can’t recommend enough attending living history events, if possible.

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Up Close and Personal with History

On Saturday February 25, 2012 we went to Cameron Art Museum for an event they call Civil War Living History.

As a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, I have been taught that the correct term is not ‘Civil War’ but the ‘War Between the States’. The distinction being that The Confederate States of America had seceded before the war began. Thus the war was between two Independent countries. Like many Southerners, I oft refer to it as the “War of Northern Aggression’.

No matter what you choose to call it, it was a troubled and defining time in our country. One that continues to fascinate and intrigue many people (including me); for that reason I attend many battle sites and events around this topic.

This was my first time attending the reenactment of the Battle of Forks Road; although this was the seventh annual celebration and reenactment. The history is always the best part; unfortunately it was difficult to hear much of the explanations. What we did learn is that the US Colored Troops were a part of the original battle. Here’s my video of them firing their cannon (I love the cannons):

As a long standing rebel it was painful to have the best view of the Yankees, but as in all of life, you take what you get! I did take some video of the Confederates. You can see it here. Now you know what I mean when I say the best view was of the yanks!

There is an exhibit of 127 drawings from the Becker Collection which are original first hand drawings from the war. We were fortunate enough to arrive inside the museum in time to take a tour of the drawings  with the museum director, Anne Brennan. The collection is amazing and the information from the tour was beyond my hope.

I snapped a couple of photos before I learned photography was not allowed. I hope you’ll enjoy my ignorance. However, I really recommend going to see these in person! The exhibit continues through May 6, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Becker Archive contains approximately 650 hitherto unexhibited and undocumented drawings by Joseph Becker and his colleagues, nineteenth-century artists who worked as artist-reporters for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly observing.  A visit to the Becker Collection’s Website allows a searchable index of the drawings. A person can search by state, date, battle, or Military Officer.  Quite naturally I searched for the Battle of Fort Fisher. If you love history this is a must see. If you like history, this is a must see. If you hate history, what’s wrong with you?

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Step Back into History

There are very few years when I miss going to the annual remembrance of the Second Battle of Fort Fisher, the largest land-sea battle of the War Between the States. I absolutely LOVE to watch and hear the big cannons boom!

The Battery

As stated, I love the cannons and in years past my camera has found nothing else at this event. This year, I took the time to notice the setting for the event. I hope you enjoy this setting as much as I did yesterday.

The Scene

Although I walked all over the grounds yesterday (a feat I paid for last night and today – it seems walking on uneven ground requires abdominal / core muscles. and even though I think I am healed from surgery my muscles aren’t so sure) It seems that the fence made it’s way into most, if not all of my shots.

The Fence

I took several videos of a nice display of replica steam engines.  Each replica was built entirely by the man who was demonstrating them (sadly, I failed to get his name).  However, you can see the video I on my youtube channel by clicking here.

Lastly, I encountered a group of small boys. They were all dressed in either Blue or Gray and carrying their muskets. They played together without regard for their uniform color.  I thought they were a lesson in having us all get along ( and they were daggone cute!)

Why Can't We ALL Just Get Along

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