It’s April 1861 at Fort Macon, NC and the Civil War has already begun.
The Confederate troops at Fort Macon will spend the next year preparing themselves and the fort for battle.
And while the men are busy preparing for battle, the women and families of the fort are busy too.
Early in 1862, Union forces commanded by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside swept through eastern North Carolina, and part of Burnside’s command under Brig. Gen. John G. Parke was sent to capture Fort Macon. Parke’s men captured Morehead City and Beaufort without resistance, then landed on Bogue Banks during March and April to fight to gain Fort Macon. Col. Moses J. White and 402 North Carolina Confederates in the fort refused to surrender even though the fort was hopelessly surrounded. On April 25, 1862, Parke’s Union forces bombarded the fort with heavy siege guns for 11 hours, aided by the fire of four Union gunboats in the ocean offshore and floating batteries in the sound to the east.~ncparks.gov
On April 25th 1962, Union soldiers began attacking Fort Macon from the surrounding beaches.
Notice the spectators on the dunes in the background? Obviously not something you’d see today but it wasn’t uncommon for civilians to come and watch as the battles unfolded.
Despite the 4 1/2 foot thick walls, the constant barrage of cannon fire threatened to explode the forts own black powder cachets. Realizing that they were surrounded and with the danger of their situation, commander Col. Moses J. White, decided to surrender the fort after 11 hours of battle on April 26th 1862.
The Union held Fort Macon for the remainder of the war, while Beaufort Harbor served as an important coaling and repair station for its navy. ~ncparks.gov
It isn’t as loud as in person, but here’s a short video of one of the bigger cannons firing.
We’ve been to Fort Macon before: