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Fort Macon

Named in honor of Nathaniel Macon, a U.S. congressman and senator and a leading early-republic statesman from North Carolina, Fort Macon was built after the War of 1812 to defend America and North Carolina from foreign invasion. During the Civil War, Union Major General Ambrose E. Burnside planned to seize the fort and bring it under federal control.

Under the direction of General Burnside, Brigadier General John Parke was ordered as to occupy Morehead City and Beaufort.  African American fisherman played a vital role in assisting the Union's surprise attack; they guided General Parke and his army across the unfamiliar water during the night.  After Beaufort was captured, the Union Navy blockaded the harbor.

With the land and sea forces under Union control, Fort Macon's commander, Colonel Moses White, received tremendous pressure to surrender.  Left only with four hundred and fifty men and fifty-four heavy guns, Colonial White still refused to surrender.  After Moses ignored the second demand to surrender, the Federal batteries opened fire on Fort Macon. The bombardment lasted eleven hours.  Colonel Moses surrendered on April 25, 1862.


Sources:

John G. Barrett, The Civil War in North Carolina (Chapel Hill, 1963) and William S. Powell ed., Encyclopedia of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, 2006).

By Adrienne Dunn, North Carolina History Project


See Also:

Related Categories: Civil War
Related Encyclopedia Entries: John W. Ellis (1820-1862), Bunker Hill Covered Bridge, Secession, Salem Brass Band, Confederate States Navy (in North Carolina), United States Navy (Civil War activity), James Iredell Waddell (1824-1886), CSS Neuse, USS Underwriter, Warren Winslow (1810-1862), Prelude to the Battle of Averasboro, The Battle of Averasboro-Day One, Louis Froelich and Company, Louis Froelich (1817-1873), North Carolina Button Factory, CSA Arms Factory, Ratification Debates, Peace Party (American Civil War), Braxton Bragg (1817-1876), Daniel Harvey Hill (1821-1889), Battle of Bentonville, Bryan Grimes (1828-1880), Fort Hatteras, Fort Fisher, Fort Clark, Daniel Russell (1845-1908), The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It, Union League, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Levi Coffin (1798 – 1877), Battle of Forks Road, Aaron McDuffie Moore (1863-1923), Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897) , Fort Anderson (Confederate), Battle of Deep Gully and Fort Anderson (Federal), James T. Leach (1805-1883), Sarah Malinda Pritchard Blalock (1839-1903), Thomas Bragg (1810-1872), Curtis Hooks Brogden (1816-1901), John Motley Morehead (1796-1866), David Lowry Swain (1801-1868), Zebulon Baird Vance (1830-1894), Alamance County (1849), Gates County (1779), Clay County (1861), Lenoir County (1791), Union County (1842), Teague Band (Civil War), Fort Hamby Gang (Civil War), Shelton Laurel Massacre , Parker David Robbins (1834-1917), Henry Eppes (1831-1917), Washington County (1799), Hertford County (1759), Rutherford County (1779), Granville County (1746), Salisbury Prison (Civil War), Stoneman's Raid, James City, Fort York, Asa Biggs (1811 - 1878), Thomas Clingman (1812 - 1897), Matt W. Ransom (1826 - 1904), St. Augustine's College, Peace College, Election Case of Joseph Abbott and Zebulon Vance, Stephen Dodson Ramseur (1837 - 1864) , Vance Birthplace, Matthew Calbraith Butler (1836-1909), Wade Hampton III (1818-1902), The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads (March 10, 1865), Carolinas Campaign (January 1865-April 1865), William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891), Confederate Surrender at Bennett's Place (April 17-26, 1865), Hugh Judson Kilpatrick (1836-1881) and the Carolinas Campaign, Joseph Eggleston Johnston (1807-1891) and the Carolinas Campaign
Related Commentary: Toward an Inclusive History of the Civil War: Society and the Home Front, Edward Bonekemper on the Cowardice of General McClellan, Freedmen’s Bank Served Blacks in Post-Civil War Economy
Related Lesson Plans: Discussion of the Lunsford Lane Narrative
Timeline: 1836-1865
Region: Coastal Plain

A view of the courtyard inside Fort Macon (1937). Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC. 

A view of the courtyard inside Fort Macon (1937). Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC. 


An aerial view of Fort Macon (1965). Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC. 

An aerial view of Fort Macon (1965). Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC. 


Fort Macon was named in honor of Nathaniel Macon, a U.S. congressman and senator. Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC.

Fort Macon was named in honor of Nathaniel Macon, a U.S. congressman and senator. Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC.



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