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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
Website
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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Excellent historic experience

This is a very important historic site. There is a museum, an outdoor walking trail with informational placards, authentic relics and they often have re-enactments. It's easily... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 weeks ago
wwydtrvlr
,
Out there somewhere
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361 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 359: English reviews
Out there somewhere
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a very important historic site. There is a museum, an outdoor walking trail with informational placards, authentic relics and they often have re-enactments. It's easily accessible and very picturesque. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Helpful?
Thank wwydtrvlr
Falmouth, Virginia
Level Contributor
299 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Raised in the Charleston, SC area and now live in Fredericksburg, VA. Lots civil war battle field sights. This one isn't any different. Walking the trails it's evident that it's used as a tax funded dog park like the rest of the secured park/fort/areas. They are well groomed and have information stations telling you what they think happened there. The... More 

Helpful?
Thank mikesxpress
Fort_Fisher_SHS, Visitor Services at Fort Fisher State Historic Site, responded to this review

What do you think would help make this site better? More 

Grafton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We really enjoyed this visit to the Fort Fisher Museum, from Grandparents on down to adult children and five year old grandson. The museum is free and is an absolutely excellent exhibit of the Civil War in this area and the importance of Fort Fisher to the Confederate effort. The staff are extremely knowledgable and willing to answer any questions.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Lslaux
Lake Mary, Florida
Level Contributor
45 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2017

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 14 January 2017 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
49 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2017

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 3 January 2017 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 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 January 2017

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 27 December 2016 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
194 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 December 2016 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

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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?