Tags: fort macon state park
Fort Macon State Park, home to the Civil War fortress located near Atlantic Beach, installed two new replica cannons this week, bringing to three the number of guns built for the park in a partnership between the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation and Wayne County Community College.
"The cannons will be star attractions later this month when the fort holds several events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Macon, when Union forces took the fort," the Carteret County News-Times said Wednesday.
The cannons, known as "32-pounders" because of the size of the shell they fire, are 20-foot-long, 4,200-pound replica weapons made with aluminum carriages instead of wooden bases, which quickly rot in the salted sea air. The first of three made was acquired in December 2010, and the park demonstrated its first working cannon the following month.
Commemorative events on April 21 and 22 will include a night cannonade at 8 p.m. Saturday re-enacting the continuous artillery fire that dispersed Federal soldiers who had been spotted on the beach, the News-Times said.
The cannons will be fired again at 10 a.m. on April 23 and 24, then at 4 p.m. on April 25, which is the actual anniversary of the Battle of Fort Macon.
Weekend events will also include flag talks, Civil War music, Civil War uniform talks, musket firing demonstrations, drills and children's activities put on by reenactors portraying soldiers of the North and South, according to the parks Web page (search with "April 2012" here for an event schedule).
The exhibit dedication and firing ceremony will be at 11 a.m. at the state park in Carteret County, a news release says.
The gun replicates those sent to Fort Macon from the Norfolk Navy Yard during the Civil War to guard the entrance to Beaufort’s harbor. Cast with an interior liner, the replica is capable of firing blank gunpowder charges. It was mounted on the wall of the fort last month.
Students at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro built a sliding gun carriage of aluminum to hold the 4,200-pound, 20-foot cannon, which was manufactured in Maryland. Wooden carriages at the seaside fort deteriorate quickly in the salt air. The state parks saved about $20,000 through the students' work.
Fort Macon State Park this week welcomed the first working cannon in the Civil War fort's exhibits. The “32-pounder” is to be fired in its first public demonstration January 29, according to the Sun Journal of New Bern.
The 20-foot-long, 4,200-pound replica weapon resulted from a partnership between State Parks and Wayne Community College originally joined to manufacture aluminum cannon carriages to replace wooden ones too quickly destroyed by the elements. The state saved about $20,000 by working with the college, and leftover funds were put toward a gun barrel. The barrel was manufactured at New Windsor, Md.
Fort Macon, the centerpiece of the 424-acre state park near Atlantic Beach, has two non-working cannons and pair of non-working mortars.
Down the coast, Fort Fisher has working cannons that are fired in scheduled demonstrations.
Fort Macon is now training staff to fire the cannon, called a "32-pounder" for the size of the shell it fires.