The fort was completed in December, 1834, and was improved with further modifications during 1841-46. Two ships suffered damage. 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. Volume IX, pages 270-294. Hospital, stables, storage buildings and quarters for some of the officers and married personnel were also located in buildings outside the fort. It was named in honor of Nathaniel Macon (1758-1837), a U.S. congressman, senator, and leading Republican statesman of North Carolina. The fort was constructed as part of a chain of forts which were built along the eastern seaboard between 1817-1865. Get Directions ». It was named after North Carolina’s eminent statesman of the period, Nathaniel Macon. 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. White and 400 North Carolina Confederates in the fort refused to surrender even though the fort was hopelessly surrounded. Although the troops here saw no action, the submarine war known as the “Battle of the Atlantic” was ever present. History Macon was founded on the site of the Ocmulgee Old Fields, where the Creek Indians lived in the 18th century. 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. Rooms have fireplaces, two holes in ceiling for ventilation, and outer windows which are in reality rifle loopholes and gun ports. Finally, in 1903, the U.S.Army completely abandoned the fort. Battle damage was repaired and the Federals made certain they installed mortars for defense, so they would not repeat the mistake of the Confederates. Weather appropriate clothing. The purpose was to prevent enemy soldiers from overrunning the ditch and moat to penetrate into the main part of the fort. 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 fort’s Confederate garrison was then paroled as prisoners of war. The fort was seized April 14, 1861, by a company of local troops acting without state orders. 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. This ambitious undertaking involved the construction of thirty-eight new, permanent coastal forts known as the Third System. Located on Bogue Banks near Atlantic Beach, the park opened in 1936. Visitor centers and park offices are open, and masks or face coverings are required to enter. U.S. Navy Department, The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of Rebellion, 30 Volumes (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1894-1927). XXVII (April, 1950), pages 163-77. Fort Macon's largest public parking area, the Boathouse, is located close to the entrance, but history buffs will want to drive on until they reach the official entrance to the Fort Macon Historic Site. The eastern point of Bogue Banks was determined to be the best location from which a fort might guard the entrance to Beaufort Inlet. Just before the Federal attack (March, 1862), the garrison was reduced to five artillery companies, all of which were from North Carolina, and two of which were from Carteret County. It is our mission to support Fort Macon State Park’s restoration and preservation as well as maintain and develop educational exhibits. (Submitted on May 29, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) The Confederates responded with at least 21 of their 54 guns which could bear on the Federal positions. Only one man, ordnance sergeant William Alexander, was in the fort at the time. Gen. John G. Parke was sent to capture Fort Macon. 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. Construction of the fort that now stands began in 1826. A total of 54 guns were mounted for its defense (consisting of 10- and 8-inch Columbiads, also rifled and smoothbore 32- and 24-pounders). The purpose of Fort Macon was to guard Beaufort Inlet and Beaufort Harbor, the only major deep water ocean port in North Carolina. Fort has outer line of defense (covertway) and an inner citadel. Fort Dobbs was begun in 1756 during French and Indian War, but the war ended and the fort was never completed. Beaufort was captured and pillaged by the Spanish (1747), and captured by the English (1782), (see article: Blackbeard’s visit to Beaufort Inlet). Gen. Simon Bernard and built by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. One side guards mouth of inlet, two guard channel and back sounds, one looks over harbor, and one covers beach approaches. The purple-gray stone used for stairways and coping on walls is Connecticut Freestone. Today, Fort Macon is one of the most popular state parks in North Carolina, attracting over a million visitors each year. Fort Macon State Park is the most visited park in the state, with over one million visitors passing through here each year. American Prairie Filmworks Recommended for you As a result of congressional economizing, the fort was actively garrisoned only from 1834-1836, 1842-1844 and 1848-1849. Twenty-six vaulted rooms (also called casements) are enclosed by outer walls that are 4.5 feet (1.4 m) thick. Its guns protected the harbor through the War of 1812, but it was afterward abandoned. Today, Fort Macon is one of North Carolina’s most visited state parks, welcoming more than 1 million visitors each year. 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. For campgrounds with 24-hour access, please observe the Night-Time Public Closure Period guidelines and do not leave the campground between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. North Carolina leaders recognized the need for coastal defenses to prevent future attacks and began efforts to construct forts. 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. Four vessels of the Federal blockading fleet joined in from the ocean, but the fort’s guns quickly drove them off. Fort Macon Looking over the fort's moat at the sally port. Campgrounds remain open under the order. North Carolina Confederate forces occupied the fort for a year, preparing it for battle and arming it with 54 heavy cannons. The fort was completed in December, 1834, and was improved with further modifications during 1841-46. Cost of construction was $463,790. A 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. Fort Macon Marker By Craig Swain, May 2, 2010 4. Vol. A portion of one of his brigades, commanded by Brig. In 1809, the Government built Fort Hampton, a circular brick masonry structure about 300 yards northeast of site of Fort Macon. Fort Macon has a rich history as a Civil War site, but its story also features an ambitious doctor named Elliott Coues, whose interest in the natural surroundings helped focus attention on environmental science in and Fort Macon State Park's Eliot Coues' Trail lets you hike through many diverse habitats, including the rarely-found maritime forest. 7.G.1 - Understand how geography, demographic trends, and environmental conditions shape modern societies and regions. Lee noted in 1840 the site of the fort was denoted by a line of breakers offshore. A system of stone jetties was constructed in the 1840s to control erosion. The prisoners were mostly Government prisoners with an occasional civil prisoner (such as a murderer or rapist) thrown in. Fort Macon and the surrounding property was the second area acquired by the state for the purpose of establishing a state parks system. Because there was a seepage problem with salt water, the water was never used for drinking. Volume I, pages 652-54. Most trails, restrooms, playgrounds, and several boat ramps are open. 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. This in turn was emptied by a pipe into the ditch under the bridge. Fort Dobbs was never finished, and the inlet remained undefended during the American Revolution. Fort Macon guarded Beaufort Inlet and Beaufort Harbor, North Carolina’s only major deep-water ocean port. While the fort easily repulsed the Union gunboat attack, the Union land batteries, utilizing new rifled cannons, hit the fort 560 times. The Battle of Fort Macon was fought there during March and April 1862. Atlantic Beach, NC 28512 4.H.2.SS - Understand how notable structures, symbols and place names are significant to North Carolina. 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. 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. Three demands to surrender were refused by the fort. 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. 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 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. From this time until 1861, it was intermittently occupied by troops, engineer detachments making repairs and improvements, or ordnance sergeants acting as caretakers. Construction began in 1826 and lasted eight years. During the Reconstruction Era, the U.S.Army actively occupied Fort Macon until 1877. were part of the same program and could be considered sister forts of Fort Macon. 4.C.1.SS - Understand the impact of various cultural groups on North Carolina. By 4:30 p.m., two of the fort’s powder magazines were in danger of being hit and exploded by Federal shells. Walls of Fort Macon Credits. When war began in December, 194l the fort was once again occupied by troops.The first battalion of the 244th Coastal Artillery was stationed here and later replaced by battalions from the 2nd, 54th and 246th Coast Artillery Regiments. By Craig Swain, May 2, 2010 3. Finally, the garrison was reduced and the living conditions improved. General John G. Parke, was then sent down from New Bern to capture Fort Macon. Fort Hawkins, birthplace of Macon, GA. Archaeology, Car shows,We are extremely proud of the new Macon - Bibb County Seal and we would like to thank Mayor Robert A.B. Richard A. Sauers, A Succession of Honorable Victories, The Burnside Expedition in North Carolina, (Dayton: Morningside House, Inc., 1996), Pages 308-340. Indeed, Beaufort was captured and plundered by the Spanish in 1747, and again by the British in 1782. After 1903 the fort was abandoned for years. There are 26 casemates in fort (including sally port). For specific details about each park, please visit the park website page. 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 fort was virtually abandoned except for caretakers until 1898 when, at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war, it was occupied by a portion of the Third North Carolina Volunteers, an all-Black regiment commanded by Colonel James Young, also an African American. Wells outside the fort provided drinking water. weekdays only, 121 W. Jones St. Fort Macon was part of a massive coastal defense program launched by President James Monroe to protect the coast without having to maintain a large navy. *Note: Works well combined with Civil War Musket Firing program. There is plenty of history to learn about and sights to see while you visit with us here at Fort Macon State Park. Federal fire was missing the fort for most of the morning due to obscuring battle smoke. The state quickly garrisoned the fort with more companies, making in all about 900 men. 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). Al White: The Story of a Marine Grunt in the First Battle of Khe Sanh (April 1967) - Duration: 1:19:39. The most prisoners confined here at one time was 120, and the west wing was used mainly for their quarters. A good account of the Confederate occupation of Fort Macon, 1861- 62. Fort Macon in Carteret County, North Carolina was one of a series of forts originally built to protect the state’s main deep ocean port, known as the Beaufort Inlet. The fort “sink” was located at the head of the marsh for the big business. 8.G.1 - Understand the geographic factors that influenced North Carolina and the United States. 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. This fort guarded the inlet during the subsequent War of 1812, but was abandoned after the end of the war. 2303 East Fort Macon Rd The wall inside fort overlooking parade ground is 17 feet high. Brig. Construction began in 1826 and lasted for eight years. Gen. Simon Bernard and built by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Droppings were carried away by the tide. Seven Confederates were killed, eighteen wounded. The lack of funds and the usual bureaucracy kept any work from being done until about 1934. After noon, every shot fired at the fort struck it or exploded over it. The actual battle reports of the commanders involved in the Siege of Fort Macon are reprinted here. 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. Robert E. Lee, a captain of Army Engineers, visited the fort in December, 1840, making a thorough inspection of it. Troops were quartered in the fort and in barracks outside. 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. In 1756 construction began there on a small fascine fort known as Fort Dobbs. By the 1940s the park was serving the public, thanks to their massive efforts. A history of the fort. Richard S. Barry, “Fort Macon: Its History,” North Carolina Historical Review, (Submitted on June 1, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) There was such exetensive damage that Col. White was forced to surrender the following morning, April 26. 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. 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. Burnside wanted to have Beaufort Harbor in his possession for the use of his own supply ships, as well as the ships of the Federal Navy. Burnside allowed the garrison members to return home on parole until exchanged. Fort is of pentagon shape. Seventeen guns were knocked out or damaged. The stairways provided added protection against shellfire. Construction of the present fort … Fort Macon was a part of this system. Rather than be blown up by their own gunpowder, the garrison had little choice but to surrender. White, of Mississippi. 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). Volume I, pages 247-257. Check out our regularly or seasonally available activities below. 9:00am to 5:00pm The fort was built in 1826 and garrisoned in 1834. These men were both Northerners, so the local newspapers thought it humorous that two more “Yankees” had been gotten by a Confederate cannon ball some 80 years after the battle. The fort was completed in December, 1834, and it was improved with further modification during 1841-46. The turning point of the battle came when a Federal signal officer in Beaufort noticed this fact and signalled range correction to the batteries. All students are encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes for walking. 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. Bathroom facilities were outside the fort. (ISBN 1.877853-45-3). Federal forces continued to occupy Fort Macon through the remainder of the war. This same article on the capture of Fort Macon appeared in both The Prescott Journal and The Hudson North Star on May 7, 1862. This project was initially engineered by Robert E. Lee, who later became a general of the Confederate States Army. Senator Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina, who procured the funds to build the fort. The wall of the covertway (counterscarp wall) is 12 to 15 feet high. I haven't been here in years. 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. (North Carolina was one of three states requiring this arrangement.). The ceilings are arched to give added strength and dissipate concussion from shells exploding on terrepleins or from guns firing in battle. After World War II, the fort again became a state park. From its completion in 1834 until the start of the U.S. Civil War in 1861 it was garrisoned for less than six years and in … The Confederate force was later attacked in 1862, and the fort fell int… Some 9.2 million bricks were used. The outer wall of fort (scarp wall) is about 24 feet high. Fort Macon: History - See 523 traveler reviews, 231 candid photos, and great deals for Atlantic Beach, NC, at Tripadvisor. Radio and communications rooms, map-plotting rooms, and so forth were housed in the fort. 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. The Friends of Fort Macon is an all-volunteer, tax exempt organization. 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. Five-sided Fort Macon is constructed of brick and stone. Paul Branch, The Siege of Fort Macon (Morehead City, NC: Herald Printing, 1982). 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. Volume I, pages 489- 491; 499-511. The fort was garrisoned in 1834 and named after U.S. The fort had three magazines to store powder and ammunition, one located behind each of the three stairways. Indoor facilities are currently not available for reservation. On April 25, 1862, the Federal batteries opened fire on the fort. Parke’s men captured Morehead City and Beaufort without resistance, then landed on Bogue Banks during March and April to operate against Fort Macon. Picnic shelters and group campsites that accommodate less than 50 people are open. Welcome to the Official U.S. Coast Guard Station Fort Macon Facebook page. During the period 1841-46 engineers made structural improvements to the fort's defenses. Total cost of the fort was $463,790. Fort Macon State Park. Since that time, the fort has been restored by the State. By Craig Swain, May 2, 2010 3. Their predecessors, the Mississippian culture, built a powerful chiefdom (950–1100 AD) based on the practice of agriculture. (950–1100 AD) based on the practice of agriculture. "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. Fort Macon is waiting for you! Col. Moses J. The fort had no mortars of its own and was unable to do much damage to the Federals in return. He was 27 years old, ranked number two in the West Point Class of 1858, and suffered from severe epilepsy. The fort commandant was Col. Moses J. Fort Macon: Not boring history - See 523 traveler reviews, 231 candid photos, and great deals for Atlantic Beach, NC, at Tripadvisor. Swim beaches and areas are closed. 1615 Mail Service Center Camping reservations must be done online. Fort Macon State Park. On October 1, 1946, the Army returned the fort and the park to the state. The fort had been hit 560 times by artillery fire. 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. Paul R. Branch Jr. has served as a park ranger and historian at Fort Macon State Park for more than 30 years. *, 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 Larger outdoor facilities with a maximum capacity of more than 50 people are also not available for reservation. The water was tidal. At the start of the Civil War, North Carolina seized Fort Macon. There are no equipment rentals and concessions available. 4.G.1.SS - Understand how human, environmental and technological factors affect the growth and development of North Carolina. Gen. Simon Bernard and built by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Volume VII, pages 277-83. 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). 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). "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set" - Proverbs Raleigh, NC 27699-1615, Contact the Park Office at least three weeks in advance. 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. It's a great dayhike for adults and families year-round. On the beach were four 155 mm seacoast guns, later replaced by 2 6-inch navy guns, mounted on concrete platforms. For detailed information about the history of Fort Macon, visit the Friends of Fort Macon Website at www 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. Walter Clark (ed. 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. Fort Macon was held by both Confederate and Union forces throughout history and Blackbeard the pirate was documented to pass alongside the fort through Beaufort Inlet A number of allied ships and one German submarine were sunk just off the coast from the fort. The fort was first garrisoned in December, 1834, although no guns were given for its defense until a year afterward. Often, an ordnance sergeant acting as a caretaker was the only person stationed by the Army at the fort. Separating the two is the “Ditch,” the bottom of which is near mean low tide level. ), 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). 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. Defend the Harbor against hostile warships and sea attack. 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