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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