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“Learning opportunity for the kids”

Fort Fisher State Historic Site
Ranked #2 of 10 things to do in Kure Beach
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
North East, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Learning opportunity for the kids”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

If you take your time and really look at all the various exhibits/artifacts you can spend well over and hour visiting the facility. They've done a nice job of bringing history to life with the exhibits. It was interesting to learn that a good bit of the fort (once was) actually sits in the atlantic ocean now.

The living oaks near the fort make for some stupendous photo's as well.

Visited August 2014
1 Thank Jasnstac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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384 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
36 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful and History Rich”
Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

My family took the Ferry from Southport to visit Fort Fisher. I expected to see a masonry fort but it was just a lovely beach. We went into the museum on site and we learned that the fort was actually built into the sand. We found the museum interesting and informative. My two youngest children were with us 6 and 9 and they stayed interested, which is a feet in itself. It was a good time had by all.

Visited August 2014
1 Thank Liss888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
182 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“History And Beauty”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Well worth a visit to Fort Fisher when in Wilmington. The historic site is well maintained and informative. Just across the road is access to enjoy the beautiful Kure Beach. Entrance is free with a donation box inside the museum.

Visited August 2014
Thank JJ R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waterloo, IL
Level Contributor
55 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Beautiful - Worth The Time”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

We took a ferry using the NC DOT Ferry system from Southport, NC to Fort Fisher. Driving around Fort Fisher, we could tell that it was well cared for, and the beach was clean. We spent a few hours just taking in God's beauty, watching the waves crash by the rocks and come into the beach. It is worth your while. We had a nice time.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Terri D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plattsmouth, Nebraska
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Real Civil War Drama”
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Fort Fisher State Historic Site takes about an hour to visit if you spend some time in the visitor center and then go out and walk the old fort. This was the last major Confederate Fort to fall and it's defeat led to the surrender of the South 3 months later. It's mission was to protect the blockade runners from delivering arms from Europe to the South. Interesting fact is that the Fort surrendered to an all black Northern Unit. It's located in the same vicinity as The Fort Fisher Recreation Area, the ferry and the aquarium, so it's easy to fit in. There were several folks dressed in Confederate uniforms at the fort on the day we visited.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Joe S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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