First at Four: Take a walking tour and learn about Wilmington's past

First at Four: Take a walking tour and learn about Wilmington's past

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Take a walk through history and learn about Wilmington's past.

The director of the Cape Historical Institute, Bernhard Thuersam, gives guided tours of downtown Wilmington that shed light on the area's Civil War era history.

Thuersam stopped by our studio to tell us about some of the Port City's history including the Gabriel Boney, Jr., monument to the Soldiers of the Confederacy. Boney, of Duplin County, was an 18-year-old private serving at Bald Head Island and Fort Anderson, then Bentonville.

Boney donated the money for this monument which honors New Hanover County's Confederate soldiers. It is located at the intersection of 3rd and Dock Streets in Wilmington.

Thuersam also told us about Cassidey Shipyard. The shipyard was on Church Street near the river; it's where the Ironclad CSS Raleigh was constructed.

In April 1864, the ship scattered the Northern blockading fleet when it steamed past Fort Fisher and out toward the sea.

The CSS Wilmington was under construction at Cassidey Shipyard, but it was never completed because the war ended.

The last piece of history we learned from Thuersam was about the St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, on Dock Street between Second and Third Streets. Famed Southern spy Rose Greenhow's funeral was held here in October of 1864. She drowned off Fort Fisher after her boat capsized while escaping.

Greenhow is buried in Oakdale Cemetery.

To hear more stories like these, you can set up a tour with Thuersam by emailing

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