On April 25, 1862, the Federal batteries opened fire on the fort. Fort Macon: A History Paul Branch This is a story of Fort Macon, one of America’s most visited forts, describing the many dramatic parts it has played in our history. Walk-up camping are available only at certain loops at Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake and at backcountry campsites with self-registration boxes at trailheads. ), The Histories of Several Regiments and Battalions From North Carolina in the Great War; Written by Members of the Respective Commands, 5 Volumes (Raleigh and Goldsboro: Nash Brothers, 1901). The purpose of Fort Macon was to guard Beaufort Inlet and Beaufort Harbor, the only major deep water ocean port in North Carolina. The prisoners were mostly Government prisoners with an occasional civil prisoner (such as a murderer or rapist) thrown in. Get Directions ». Five sewers or drains carried water to a central drain in the center of the parade ground. American Prairie Filmworks Recommended for you Cost of construction was $463,790. Fort has outer line of defense (covertway) and an inner citadel. (950–1100 AD) based on the practice of agriculture. Shore erosion and a hurricane in 1825 were responsible for sweeping Fort Hampton into Beaufort Inlet by 1825. Chief Engineers who were responsible for constructing the fort were Lieutenant William Eliason, Captain John L. Smith and Lieutenant George Dutton, U.S. Army Engineers. Raleigh, NC 27699-1615, Contact the Park Office at least three weeks in advance. The perceived threat was from countries such as Spain and Britain, who had both invaded the port in the eighteenth century. were part of the same program and could be considered sister forts of Fort Macon. Fort Macon and the surrounding property was the second area acquired by the state for the purpose of establishing a state parks system. 7.G.1 - Understand how geography, demographic trends, and environmental conditions shape modern societies and regions. The stairways provided added protection against shellfire. There are no equipment rentals and concessions available. The outer wall of fort (scarp wall) is about 24 feet high. A number of allied ships and one German submarine were sunk just off the coast from the fort. Fort Macon Looking over the fort's moat at the sally port. Brig. The War of 1812 demonstrated the weakness of existing coastal defenses and prompted the United States government into beginning construction on an improved chain of coastal fortifications for national defense. Available at Fort Macon Bookstore and at bookstores in Morehead City/Beaufort Area, Paul Branch, Fort Macon, A History (Charleston, SC: Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1999) The definitive history of the Fort. It was sometimes filled with water which came up from the sound though a canal and passed under the outer wall by means of a culvert. Construction began in 1826 and lasted for eight years. Gen. John G. Parke was sent to capture Fort Macon. Fort Macon is a Third System fort designed by Brigadier General Simon Bernard and built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1826 and 1834. The battle reports of U.S. From this time until 1861, it was intermittently occupied by troops, engineer detachments making repairs and improvements, or ordnance sergeants acting as caretakers. Often, an ordnance sergeant acting as a caretaker was the only person stationed by the Army at the fort. Take a journey into time as students learn the exciting history of Fort Macon, which will include the construction of the fort, the Civil War battle of Fort Macon, and the eventual creation of North Carolina’s first functioning state park. The Confederates worked feverishly to prepare the fort for battle over the next few months. For detailed information about the history of Fort Macon, visit the Friends of Fort Macon Website at www The fort was built in 1826 and garrisoned in 1834. Fort Dobbs was never finished, and the inlet remained undefended during the American Revolution. *, View the contact sheet for the email address and phone number of each park », (General information – please do not call this number for camping or park-specific questions), Office Hours Their predecessors, the Mississippian culture, built a powerful chiefdom (950–1100 AD) based on the practice of agriculture. Construction of the present fort … These were the most guns the fort ever had. Fort Macon is waiting for you! Wells outside the fort provided drinking water. 9:00am to 5:00pm Standing tall for over 200 years, Fort Macon is a tenacious symbol for the Crystal Coast running along the Atlantic Ocean to the East of North Carolina. 4.H.2.SS - Understand how notable structures, symbols and place names are significant to North Carolina. Walter Clark (ed. As a part of this defense, a small masonry fort named Fort Hampton, after a North Carolina Revolutionary War hero, was built to guard Beaufort Inlet during 1808-09. General John G. Parke, was then sent down from New Bern to capture Fort Macon. On the beach were four 155 mm seacoast guns, later replaced by 2 6-inch navy guns, mounted on concrete platforms. Bathroom facilities were outside the fort. Volume IX, pages 270-294. A Brief History of Fort Macon and Cape Lookout Military Reservation (1834 - 1903, 1941 - 1945) Earlier forts were located here, including: Fort Dobbs (1756), which was never completed, and Fort Hampton (1809). History Macon was founded on the site of the Ocmulgee Old Fields, where the Creek Indians lived in the 18th century. Finally, in 1903, the U.S.Army completely abandoned the fort. The eastern point of Bogue Banks was determined to be the best location from which a fort might guard the entrance to Beaufort Inlet. Volume I, pages 652-54. The fort was occupied from December, 1941, to November, 1944. The fort had three magazines to store powder and ammunition, one located behind each of the three stairways. Indeed, Beaufort was captured and plundered by the Spanish in 1747, and again by the British in 1782. Fort Macon was designed by Brig. North Carolina leaders recognized the need for coastal defenses to prevent future attacks and began efforts to construct forts. 1615 Mail Service Center "Lifesavers of the Crystal Coast" DESCRIPTION Station Fort Macon's primary goals are to serve the Crystal Coast's boating public, while performing the United States Coast Guard's 11 primary missions. 4.G.1.SS - Understand how human, environmental and technological factors affect the growth and development of North Carolina. Twenty-six vaulted rooms (also called casements) are enclosed by outer walls that are 4.5 feet (1.4 m) thick. 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 navy gunboats in the ocean offshore and by floating batteries in the sound to the east. Active garrisons occupied Fort Macon in 1834-36, 1842-44, and 1848-49. Col. Moses J. All students are encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes for walking. This same article on the capture of Fort Macon appeared in both The Prescott Journal and The Hudson North Star on May 7, 1862. Campgrounds remain open under the order. Fort Macon State Park's Eliot Coues' Trail lets you hike through many diverse habitats, including the rarely-found maritime forest. The Confederates responded with at least 21 of their 54 guns which could bear on the Federal positions. Thank you for following these guidelines and helping us keep you, your fellow visitors and our staff safe as we open facilities at our parks. The ditch was defended by four “Counterfire” rooms in the covertway which swept all avenues with rifle fire and small cannon firing anti-personnel ammunition. (ISBN 1.877853-45-3). Blackbeard and other pirates passed through Beaufort Inlet at will, while successive wars with Spain, France and Great Britian during the Colonial Period provided a constant threat of coastal raids by enemy warships. Walls of Fort Macon Credits. The fort was completed in December, 1834, and was improved with further modifications during 1841-46. Swim beaches and areas are closed. A history of the fort. Three demands to surrender were refused by the fort. Today, Fort Macon is one of North Carolina’s most visited state parks, receiving more than a million visitors a year. By the 1940s the park was serving the public, thanks to their massive efforts. The water was tidal. Parke easily captured Morehead City and Beaufort on March 23 and 26, respectively, and then transferred his troops, supplies, and artillery over to Bogue Banks. Fort Macon was deactivated after 1877 only to be regarrisoned by state troops once again during the summer of 1898 for the Spanish-American War. He was 27 years old, ranked number two in the West Point Class of 1858, and suffered from severe epilepsy. Once protecting the small coastal town of Beaufort from assaults by Spanish raids, pirates such as Blackbeard and even the Confederate Army, Fort Macon is now a State Park of North Carolina and has been so since 1924. Senator Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina, who procured the funds to build the fort. Fort Macon was a part of this system. Although the troops here saw no action, the submarine war known as the “Battle of the Atlantic” was ever present. The wall inside fort overlooking parade ground is 17 feet high. Construction began in 1826 and lasted for eight years. The War Between the States began on April 12, 1861, and only two days elapsed before local North Carolina militia forces from Beaufort arrived to seize the fort for the state of North Carolina and the Confederacy. During the Reconstruction Era, the U.S.Army actively occupied Fort Macon until 1877. SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of Company C, First Artillery, during the siege and reduction of Fort Macon: As you are aware, I was ordered to leave my light battery at New Berne and report to you with three Parrot 30-pounder guns as part of the siege train for the reduction of Fort Macon, and that they did their work well the sequel has proved. At that time the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of the government work programs spawned by the Great Depression, began to work on the fort to counteract the years of neglect and make it presentable to the public. Named in honor of Nathaniel Macon, a United States congressman and senator and a leading early-republic statesman of North Carolina, Fort Macon was built after the War of 1812 to defend America and North Carolina from COVID-19 information for parks under Modified Stay at Home Order, Maintain a social distance of 6 feet, regardless of the behavior of others, Bring a mask or face covering; they are required to be worn inside buildings and when social distancing cannot be implemented, Share the trail — warn other trail users of your presence, step to the side or wait at the end of a bridge, Do not enter restrooms until others have cleared out and please be patient when staff is cleaning them, Wash or sanitize your hands before, during, and after your visit, Do not share equipment like phones or cameras with other visitors, If the park seems crowded when you arrive, come back another time, Stay at home if you are exhibiting symptoms. John G. Barrett, The Civil War in North Carolina (Chapel Hill: University of N.C. Press, 1963), pages 10-11, 113-120. White and 400 North Carolina Confederates in the fort refused to surrender even though the fort was hopelessly surrounded. Early in the 1800s, continued strained relations with Great Britian caused the United States government to build a national defense chain of forts for protection. Droppings were carried away by the tide. Camping reservations must be done online. (North Carolina was one of three states requiring this arrangement.). Fort Macon, located on the eastern tip of the Bogue Banks along North Carolina's central coast, is an early-19th Century fort which has been restored as the centerpiece of one of the state's busiest State Parks. Only one man, ordnance sergeant William Alexander, was in the fort at the time. This in turn was emptied by a pipe into the ditch under the bridge. Reconstruction was ending and Government troops were being removed from the South. The trail runs for a 3.3 mile loop through wooded forest, boardwalks through salt marsh, and peaceful natural beaches. There was such exetensive damage that Col. White was forced to surrender the following morning, April 26. Fort Macon State Park. Volume VII, pages 277-83. By Craig Swain, May 2, 2010 3. History of Fort Macon and coastal defense In modern times, the danger of naval attack along the North Carolina coast seems remote, but during the 18th and 19th centuries, the region around Beaufort was highly vulnerable to attack. Defense against the Spanish (when we were still an English colony); defense against the English (American Revolution and War of 1812); and defense against pirates who operated in North Carolina sounds. The fort commandant was Col. Moses J. Some 9.2 million bricks were used. After several skirmishes with Confederate soldiers, Parke’s men succeeded in entrenching as close as 1400 yards from the fort, while three batteries of siege guns (two batteries of mortars and one of 30-pounder Parrott Rifle guns) were established 1280 to 1680 yards from the fort. Federal forces continued to occupy Fort Macon through the remainder of the war. However, at the bidding of North Carolina leaders, a Congressional Act on June 4, 1924, gave the fort and surrounding reservation to the state of North Carolina to be used as a public park. The danger of naval attack along the North Carolina coast seems remote now, but during the 18th and 19th centuries the region around Beaufort was highly vulnerable to attack. Battle damage was repaired and the Federals made certain they installed mortars for defense, so they would not repeat the mistake of the Confederates. The fort was completed in December, 1834, and was improved with further modifications during 1841-46. Seven Confederates were killed, eighteen wounded. There is plenty of history to learn about and sights to see while you visit with us here at Fort Macon State Park. Fort Macon: History - See 523 traveler reviews, 231 candid photos, and great deals for Atlantic Beach, NC, at Tripadvisor. Siege of Fort Macon, 29 March-26 April 1862, The final major success during General Burnsides expedition to the North Carolina coast in early 1862 The final major success during General Burnside’s expedition to the North Carolina coast in early 1862. expedition to the North Carolina coast in early 1862. The purple-gray stone used for stairways and coping on walls is Connecticut Freestone. Two American soldiers were injured in Casemate 2 when a cannon shot they had placed in the fireplace as an andiron exploded from the heat of the fire. Finally, the garrison was reduced and the living conditions improved. Fort Macon State Park is the most visited park in the state, with over one million visitors passing through here each year. The most prisoners confined here at one time was 120, and the west wing was used mainly for their quarters. After World War II, the fort again became a state park. The wall of the covertway (counterscarp wall) is 12 to 15 feet high. By 1825, storms and the shifting inlet had washed away some 200 yards of beach, including Fort Hampton. Fort Macon State Park is the second most visited state park in North Carolina, with an annual visitation of 1.3 million, despite being the third smallest park in North Carolina with 389 acres (1.57 km 2). Seventeen guns were knocked out or damaged. Located on Bogue Banks near Atlantic Beach, the park opened in 1936. Lee noted in 1840 the site of the fort was denoted by a line of breakers offshore. Troops were quartered in the fort and in barracks outside. It was named after North Carolina 's eminent statesman of the period, Nathaniel Macon. Take a journey into time as students learn the exciting history of Fort Macon, which will include the construction of the fort, the Civil War battle of Fort Macon, and the eventual creation of North Carolina’s first functioning state park. A portion of one of his brigades, commanded by Brig. This battle was the second time in history that rifled cannons had been used against a fort and demonstrated the obsolescence of fortifications such as Fort Macon as a way of defense. Most trails, restrooms, playgrounds, and several boat ramps are open. Today, Fort Macon is one of the most popular state parks in North Carolina, attracting over a million visitors each year. Richard S. Barry, “Fort Macon: Its History,” North Carolina Historical Review, The ceilings are arched to give added strength and dissipate concussion from shells exploding on terrepleins or from guns firing in battle. Paul R. Branch Jr. has served as a park ranger and historian at Fort Macon State Park for more than 30 years. Fort Macon was designed by Brig. For the 12 years after the war, Federal soldiers continued to occupy the fort. Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Being For the Most Part Contributions by Union and Confederate Officers, 4 Volumes, (New York: Thomas Yoseloff, Inc., 1956). A system of stone jetties was constructed in the 1840s to control erosion. Construction of the fort that now stands began in 1826. Rather than be blown up by their own gunpowder, the garrison had little choice but to surrender. Gutters in the walls caught rain water filtering through the sand from above and piped it to the four large cisterns located in the corners below the parade ground (they could hold 22,000 gallons). There are 26 casemates in fort (including sally port). 4.C.1.SS - Understand the impact of various cultural groups on North Carolina. Paul Branch, a ranger/historian at Fort Macon has illustrated his book with original engineering … Construction began in 1826 and lasted eight years. Fort Macon was initially purchased by the state of North Carolina in 1924, and with the exception of being garrisoned during World War II, it has been a state park ever since. The forts were built between 1817 and 1865. "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set" - Proverbs Fort Macon was named for Nathaniel Macon, very prominent North Carolina statesman of that period. It was named in honor of Nathaniel Macon (1758-1837), a U.S. congressman, senator, and leading Republican statesman of North Carolina. In 1756 construction began there on a small fascine fort known as Fort Dobbs. Major General Ambrose Burnside led Federal forces through the northeastern sound region of the state in February, 1862, and finally entered the Neuse River to capture New Bern on March 14. Gen. Simon Bernard and built by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. By Craig Swain, May 2, 2010 3. Beaufort was captured and pillaged by the Spanish (1747), and captured by the English (1782), (see article: Blackbeard’s visit to Beaufort Inlet). Please check the park pages for more information about camping procedures. Al White: The Story of a Marine Grunt in the First Battle of Khe Sanh (April 1967) - Duration: 1:19:39. 8.G.1 - Understand the geographic factors that influenced North Carolina and the United States. The fort had been hit 560 times by artillery fire. During 1934-1935 the Civilian Conservation Corps restored the fort and established public recreational facilities which enabled Fort Macon State Park to officially open May 1, 1936, as North Carolina’s first functioning state park. One Federal killed, three wounded. The lack of funds and the usual bureaucracy kept any work from being done until about 1934. The fort was not even used during World War I and in 1923 it was offered for sale as surplus military property. Paul Branch, The Siege of Fort Macon (Morehead City, NC: Herald Printing, 1982). XXVII (April, 1950), pages 163-77. The Confederate force was later attacked in 1862, and the fort fell int… It was used in this period as a Federal prison since there were no such prison facilities in either North or South Carolina during the Reconstruction. U.S. War Department, War of Rebellion, A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 70 Volumes in 128 Parts (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901). Daniel H. Hill, Bethel to Sharpsburg, 2 Volumes (Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton Company, 1926). weekdays only, 121 W. Jones St. (Submitted on May 29, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) Fort is of pentagon shape. During the period 1841-46 engineers made structural improvements to the fort's defenses. The purpose was to prevent enemy soldiers from overrunning the ditch and moat to penetrate into the main part of the fort. 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