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Fort Fisher, Maritime Museum at Southport and Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson Seek Volunteers For Park Day

March 28, 2013 - Southport, NC - Nearly 150 years after the final shots of the Civil War were fired, a new wave of volunteers will descend on America's battlefields - only these dedicated troops will wield paint brushes, trash bags and hammers in the line of duty.

On Saturday, April 6, history buffs and preservationists from around the country will team up with the Civil War Trust to help clean and restore America's priceless battlefields, cemeteries and shrines. Park Day is the nationwide volunteer effort created by the Civil War Trust, underwritten with a grant from History and endorsed by Take Pride in America, a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Park Day at Fort Fisher will enlist volunteers and site staff to beautify and preserve this historic site. Volunteers aged 10 and up, of all ability levels, are encouraged to participate. Volunteers will be treated to lunch provided by the Friends of Fort Fisher, the non-profit group which helps support the site along with its sustaining members-Mike McCarley, Brian Nunnally, Ernie Kniffen, Tammy and Jack Moore, and Jim and Catherine Taylor. To help, please call (910) 458-5538.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport needs volunteers to help clean up the Civil War fortification along the Cape Fear River. Additional volunteers are needed to help clean out shrub beds and paint the Museum doors and trim. No special skills are needed, just a desire to help the community and the Museum. The work will begin at 9 a.m. and tools will be provided. Individuals should supply their own gloves, sunscreen and insect repellent. The work can get messy, so volunteers are encouraged to wear clothing and closed-toe shoes that can get muddy. Participants will receive a t-shirt, a badge and a hot dog lunch for their efforts. To volunteer or for more information, contact Sharon Venis at (910) 457-0003.

Park Day at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site hopes to finish clearing brush from the front of Battery B. It is requested that volunteers muster at the Visitor Center by 8:30 to commence work at 9 a.m. Work will continue until early afternoon. Survivors will be treated to the new information concerning the construction and purpose of the curtains and traverses between batteries A & B. They will also get a full update on the Gun Emplacement project and guided tours of their choice. Please contact Jim McKee at 910-371-6613 or Jim McKee for more information or to volunteer.

Now in its 17th year, the annual hands-on preservation event comprises more than 100 sites in 24 states. Volunteers will participate in activities ranging from trash removal to trail building, while learning more about each site from local experts. In exchange for their effort, volunteers receive t-shirts or patches. Individuals of all ages and ability levels are welcome, and many activities are appropriate for groups, like scout troops or corporate outings.

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 35,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states.

Until the last few months of the Civil War, Fort Fisher kept North Carolina's port of Wilmington open to blockade runners supplying necessary goods to Confederate armies inland. By 1865, the supply line through Wilmington was the last remaining supply route open to Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. When Ft. Fisher fell after a massive Federal amphibious assault on January 15, 1865, its defeat helped seal the fate of the Confederacy.

The N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport tells the story of the Cape Fear region and its people. The museum is at the intersection of the mighty Cape Fear River and the vast Atlantic Ocean. It shares tales of pirates and pillage, blockade running and riverfront archaeology, and other nautical adventures. Ongoing educational programs for children and adults about this area that was a haven for blockade runners and also a pirate hideout are available.

A major pre-Revolutionary port on North Carolina's Cape Fear River, Brunswick was razed by British troops in 1776 and never rebuilt. During the Civil War, Fort Anderson was constructed atop the old village site, and served as part of the Cape Fear River defenses below Wilmington before the fall of the Confederacy. Colonial foundations dot the present-day tour trail, which crosses the earthworks of the Confederate fort.



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