FORT FISHER, NC (WECT) – Fort Fisher, the largest earthen fortification in the Confederacy, once protected the port of Wilmington and the vital blockade running trade on the Cape Fear River. But after two massive bombardments, the Fort fell to a Union infantry assault on January 15, 1865.
With the capture of Fort Fisher, Wilmington's port, "The Lifeline of the Confederacy" was closed to foreign trade. Less than four months later, the war was over.
This weekend is the 148th anniversary of the fall of Fort Fisher, and it will be observed at a location on the northwest corner of the Fort, around the "Bloody Gate," on the left flank of Fort Fisher.
"It really drives the point home the face that his place is worth coming to, worth exploring and finding more about it," said Si Lawrence, of North Carolina's Department of Cultural Resources.
Saturday, the Fort will be covered with re-enactors, and there will be multiple cannons being fired, but there will not be a battle re-enactment.
"The interesting thing about this year is we're really focusing on the Confederate forces depending Sheppard's Battery," said Lawrence. "Rather than coming out and expecting to see a battle, we're hoping folks will realize that they are able to come out and learn some things from camp life, to what soldier's lives were like."
Over the years, Fort Fisher has become the state's most visited historic site and Lawrence believes the Lincoln movie has led more people to visit the Fort, and learn more about our area's role in the closing days of the Civil War.
"They have inquired about the Fort and said they were interested in it because of the movie Lincoln and wanted to know more about what is going on here, so it has garnered a lot of interest in our site and we are just grateful to have it" said Lawrence.
Activities at the Fort begins Saturday morning at 10:00.
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