Friday, January 17, 2014

Blockade Running Civil War Weekend in Wrightsville Beach, NC | January 17-19, 2014

Whether you're a bona fide history buff or would like to refresh your Civil War knowledge, make plans to attend this month's Blockade Running Civil War Weekend, which commemorates the 149th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Fisher. Fittingly hosted by the Blockade Runner Beach Resort and the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, the event kicks off on Friday, January 17th and ends on Sunday, January 19th.

The action-packed long weekend promises to be both informative and fun. In an effort to give equal time to all, the events will focus on the Union blockade, Confederate blockade running, and Fort Fisher's final battle. This was of course significant, because Fort Fisher stood as the last defense for the port and city of Wilmington.

This family friendly weekend is a great way to get young people excited about local history. There will be several lectures and exhibits detailing the strategies used and challenges faced by Union and Confederate forces. By the end of the Civil War, Union troops had successfully blocked every major port and supply line throughout the south. At the mouth of the Cape Fear River alone, 82 shipwrecks occurred which today serve as constant reminders of the perils involved in blockade running.

In spite of the 82 ships that were lost, the Confederacy managed to break through the Union's blockades on numerous occasions. Of course, this was a contributing factor that prolonged the War Between the States. Ultimately, the U.S. Naval fleet stepped in and led to the Union's victorious end.

Want to learn more about this fascinating time in our history? This weekend will be the perfect opportunity! During the Blockade Running Civil War Weekend, participants will be taken on guided tours of Fort Fisher, the Underwater Archaeology Lab, and several shipwreck sites along the beach area.

Four major Civil War historians will be making presentations this weekend:
  • Chief Historian for the U.S. Coast Guard - Dr. Robert Browning - He is the world's leading expert on the Union's naval blockade practices. Dr. Browning is also the author of several books including his most recent, Success is All That Was Expected: The South Atlantic Blockading Squadron During the Civil War.
  • The former Deputy State Archaeologist of the Underwater Branch North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, and the Queen Anne's Revenge Project Director, Underwater Archaeology division, Dr. Mark Wilde-Ramsing will be on hand.
  • Leading historian in regard to Civil War coastal operations, defenses, and blockade running, Dr. Chris Fonvielle will share his insights as well. Dr. Fonvielle has published several books on the Cape Fear region's coastal defense mechanisms during the Civil War including, including The Wilmington Campaign: Last Rays of Departing Hope and Fort Anderson: Battle for Wilmington.
  • The fourth honored guest for this weekend's series is Dr. Stephen Wise. He is the museum curator for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. He has written and edited the Lifeline of the Confederacy: Blockade Running During the Civil War and Gate of Hell: The Campaign for Charleston Harbor 1863.
Event organizers are extremely excited about the fact that each speaker will bring a different perspective to the discussion around the events surrounding the Civil War blockade during this enlightening program.
The Weekend Package includes:
  • Speakers Friday and Saturday with dinner at the Blockade Runner Resort
  • Guided Tour of Fort Fisher with box lunch
  • Behind the Scenes tour of the Underwater Archaeology Lab at Fort Fisher
  • Tour of shipwreck sites along the beach
  • Dinner on Friday; Breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday; Breakfast on Sunday
  • Optional Tours
  • Lodging at Blockade Runner Beach Resort
To learn more please call the Blockade Runner Beach Resort at 910-256-2251 or visit www.wbmuseum.com/BlockadeRunningCivilWarEvent.htm. Enjoy!

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