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Fort Fisher State Historic Site

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Address: 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd S, Kure Beach, NC 28449-3755
Phone Number:
+1 910-458-5538
Today
09:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Tue - Sat 09:00 - 17:00
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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Civil War History - Free for the experience

I happened to attend the day 01.14.17 of the celebration of when the fort was breached by Union forces - period garb and cannon fire. Museum is ample and "just enough... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
Mark A
,
Lake Mary, Florida
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358 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 356: English reviews
Lake Mary, Florida
Level Contributor
44 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I happened to attend the day 01.14.17 of the celebration of when the fort was breached by Union forces - period garb and cannon fire. Museum is ample and "just enough" information. Although only 11% of the original fort survived erosion, WW II WASP air runway and Union bombardment - it was a wonderful day full of activities. I highly... More 

Helpful?
Thank Mark A
Canada
Level Contributor
53 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

This is a wonderfully preserved fort dating back to the civil war. You could spend a half day if you are interested in history. The bunkers, guns and information centre is excellent.

Helpful?
Thank B B
Waxhaw
Level Contributor
48 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We had never heard of this fort but enjoyed all of the facts we learned about the Civil War and how it was fought in this area.There are things for children as well as adults. Be sure to watch the orientation video to begin your tour.

Helpful?
Thank WaxhawGranny
Illinois
Level Contributor
30 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Been visiting Wilmington the past 25 yrs and Kure Beach. It truly is a beautiful walk through the grounds surrounded by Carolina Oaks which has historical stations throughout. The free exhibit is very detailed and informative with a short movie. Knowledgeable staff who are more than happy to answer any question. One can only imagine what the Fort was like... More 

Helpful?
Thank hrumph
Level Contributor
35 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

There is an awesome museum highlighting the battles won by the South. The area around the museum shows where the trenches were and the men fought from. Ships were bombarded by the South. Took many trips with school children to learn more about the battles of the Civil War as well as taking visiting family. The NC aquarium is a... More 

Helpful?
Thank ruthf289
Belmont, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Appreciate the rich history here in the Carolinas. We enjoyed the tour and short movie as well as the 5 minute battle reenactment light show. The views are beautiful from the walkway and it's very easy to find

Helpful?
Thank dafsgirl
Level Contributor
185 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Was not aware of the history of this area, which this museum presented quite well. Beautiful setting, a history not frequently encountered. Nicely curated.

Helpful?
Thank Dadmanly
La Vergne, Tennessee
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 November 2016 via mobile

Stopped here only a short time, but it was really interesting. Nice walking trail. The outdoor "exhibits" were a great idea. Quite informative.

Helpful?
Thank smithsonfamily
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2016 via mobile

I haven't been here since I was a kid but I am glad I came back. They have a battle board with led lighting that will reenact the battle along with commentary. Very educational as well as plenty of artifacts to check out from the forts occupation. If you are a history buff or find artifacts to pleasant tot eh... More 

Helpful?
Thank mikepopejr
Alexandria Bay, New York
Level Contributor
169 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2016

Still lots of history here and very well done. It's trying to be preserved but Mother Nature has taken quite a chunk of the fort away. Still can see the dunes that were built for protection and can feel the history. Short movie to check out before you start.

Helpful?
Thank SusanRVer

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Fort Fisher State Historic Site and other visitors
2 questions
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Jonesboro, Georgia
over a year ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?