News: History comes to life: Fort Macon teaches locals about Civil War
Story by Lance Cpl. Cayce Nevers
CHERRY POINT, N.C. - - Crowds gathered at Fort Macon State Park Saturday and Sunday to take a trip into the past – back to a time where the North and South were locked in combat and four years of war left more than 600,000 soldiers dead.
Spectators learned about life during the Civil War from the 1st North Carolina Volunteers/11th North Carolina State Troops Civil War Reenactment Regiment.
Volunteers offered presentations on topics such as Civil War women’s attire, children’s drill demonstrations, reenactments of the fort’s siege and recapture, musical demonstrations, and musket and cannon firing demonstrations.
“It is going great,” said Lance Cpl. Mark A. Lewis, a volunteer with 1/11 North Carolina Volunteers and a rifleman with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, based in Camp Lejeune. “This is the most people I have seen at a fort reenactment, honestly. I did Fort Delaware and there were nowhere near as many people.”
Lewis has been reenacting events like this for many years.
“My mom got me into this stuff. She took me to a little reenactment outside of our hometown in Georgetown, Delaware,” said Lewis.
Lewis said that he and his wife met a 1/11 North Carolina Volunteer when they attended a reenactment in Gettysburg, Pa. She introduced them to some people, and soon Lewis and his wife were participating in the Civil War Reenactment at Fort Macon.
While hundreds of people came and went from the fort, activities continued throughout the day.
“I am big into history and being a service member; I love learning about the wars and battles that took place in the United States,” said Lance Cpl. Kyle A. Biessener, a military police officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “The information they presented today was very informative, and the volunteers who put on these events know a lot about the history of the United States.”
The Civil War was the physical manifestation of the internal strife and political polarization that nearly ended the Union’s brief history.
“I find this to be really important in American history,” said Lewis. “In my opinion, this is the war that defined America.”
The Civil War Reenactment is just one of the many events held at Fort Macon State Park. For more information and event schedule, visit http://bit.ly/NCFMSP or call 726-3775. The next reenactments are scheduled for Sept. 21 and 22.