North Carolina Forts

American Forts: East


Battery Anderson | Camp Anderson | Fort Anderson (1) | Camp Argyle | Camp Ashe | Battery Atlantic Beach
Camp Badger | Bear Island Fort | Camp Belvidere | Camp Benbow | Fort Benjamin | Battery Bolles | Camp Branch (3)
Fort Branch (1) | Brunswick Town Battery | Battery Buchanan | Fort Buchanan | Camp Burgwyn (1)
Camp Burgwyn (2) | Camp Cameron | Fort Campbell (1) | Fort Campbell (2) | Camp Canal | Cape Lookout Fort
Carolina City Camp | Fort Caswell (2) | Fort Cobb | Camp Davis (1) | Camp Davis (2) | Fort Davis | Fort Dobbs (2)
Fort Fisher | Flag Pond Battery | Camp Florida | Camp French | Fort French | Battery Gatlin | Camp Glenn
Camp Graham | Fort Gun Battery | Half-Moon Battery | Fort Hampton | Fort Hancock | Havelock Station Blockhouse
Camp Heath | Fort Hill (1) | Battery Holland | Fort Holmes (2) | Huggins' Island Fort | Camp Jackson
Fort Johnston | Kure Beach Res. | Battery Lamb (1) | Battery Lamb (2) | Camp Lamb | Fort Lee
Camp Leventhorpe (2) | Battery Lookout | Battery Macon | Fort Macon | Fort Meares | Mound Battery
Newport Barracks | Fort Pender | Camp Pettigrew (2) | Camp Pettigrew (3) | Fort Pollock | Camp Radcliff
Fort St. Philip | Battery Shaw | Battery Stokes | Fort Strong | Battery Tirza | Camp Vance (3) | Camp Whiting (1)
Camp Whiting (2) | Camp Wilkes | Wilmington Civil War Defenses | Camp Wyatt | Zeke's Island Battery

Northeastern North Carolina - page 2 | Western North Carolina - page 3

Last Update: 09/OCTOBER/2005
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2005 American Forts Network

Camp Whiting (2)
(1864), Lockwood Folly Inlet
A CSA camp near Holden Beach.

Fort Holmes (2)
(1862 - 1865), Bald Head Island
An extensive CSA earthworks fort located west and south of the lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1818. The main work was called Battery Holmes (eight guns and two magazines revetted with palmetto logs), located at the extreme western tip of the point. This may have eroded away. Continuing southeast was Battery #1 (one gun and a magazine) and Battery #2 (one gun). These also may have eroded away. Along the line northeast to the lighthouse was located Battery #3 (five guns and two magazines), an unfinished battery, and then Battery #4 (four guns and two magazines) surrounding the lighthouse. This portion still exists. The fort was destroyed to avoid Union capture.

North Carolina Coastal Defenses

¤ Fort Caswell (2)
(1826 - 1865, 1894 - 1926, 1941 - 1946), Oak Island
Construction continued until 1838, and it was one of only three masonry forts in the state before the Civil War. It was named in 1833 and captured by the Confederates in 1861. Built of stone and earthworks, it was partially destroyed in a mine explosion during the Civil War and was abandoned only when Fort Fisher fell in 1865. A small earthwork battery may have been located here in 1813. Modern coastal defense batteries here are Battery Bagley (1903 - 1925), Battery Caswell (1899 - 1925), which was modified for a swimming pool, Battery Swift (1898 - 1920), Battery New Madison (1905 - 1917), Battery McDonough (1902 - 1905), Battery Shipp (1901 - 1919), Battery Madison (1899 - 1904), Battery McKavett (1903 - 1920), and Battery New McDonough (1904 - 1925). Several of the original post buildings remain in good condition and in current use. A fire-control tower still remains. The reservation was used in WWII as a Navy Section Base and Army Depot. The fort is on private property, but tours can be arranged through the North Carolina State Baptist Convention.
Located to the west of the old fort were the Confederate earthworks Battery Shaw (one gun), and Fort (or Battery) Campbell (1) (both 1862 - 1865). They were destroyed in order to avoid capture. Fort Campbell had 18 guns and a large bomb-proof magazine, and was located about where Battery Shipp is now located. Battery Shaw was located about halfway between Fort Campbell and Fort Caswell, at the location of Battery Swift.

Fort Johnston
(1748 - 1881/2005), Southport
Johnston's Fort was built in 1748 and it was attacked by the Spanish fleet that same year. It was a small wooden square-shaped fort with four bastions and sand earthworks. It was rebuilt beginning in 1754 into a star-shaped stone and tabby fort with four bastions and a dry moat. It was rebuilt again in 1773, but destroyed by Patriots in 1775. Rebuilt by the Patriots in 1778. The British recaptured it in 1781 only to then abandon it. Rebuilt yet again in 1794 and 1799-1800. It was an eight-gun heavy battery in 1806.
The Garrison House was built in 1810 and is the only part that remains today. Three other buildings, including the 1835 hospital, also exist but they have been moved into town and were converted into houses. Various government and military agencies have used the house up to the present day. The U.S. Army's Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal occupied the reservation until just recently.
This fort was one of only three masonry forts in the state before the Civil War. The fort was seized by the CSA in 1861, but by 1862 it was only sand earthworks and sod covered mounds for four guns and two magazines. Renamed Fort Branch (1) in 1863. Renamed Fort Pender in 1864. The Union captured it in 1865, but until then it helped keep Wilmington open to blockade runners.
New buildings were built in the 1870's, but the post closed in 1881. A searchlight position was here in World War II. Battery Island is located offshore. The town was originally named Smithville.

Camp Radcliff
(1861 - 1865), near Southport
A CSA camp.

Battery Lamb (2)
(1862 - 1865), Reeve's Point
Part of the Wilmington outer defenses. It was located at the present-day Sunny Point U.S. Military Ocean Terminal. It was severely damaged in a magazine explosion in 1865. No remains.
CSA Camp Benbow was located just to the north.

Fort Anderson (1)
(Brunswick Town State Historic Site)
(1862 - 1865), Brunswick Town ¤National Archives MAP¤
First known as Fort St. Philip (1862 - 1863), it was built on the ruins of Brunswick Town (1726 - 1776). Well-preserved earthworks still remain. It had ten guns in two batteries in the main work, and three seperate batteries along a line to the west. It held until 30 days after Fort Fisher fell. The fort was originally named after St. Philip's Church, which still exists as ruins. A visitors' center and museum are here. The restoration of the old townsite is in progress. Access may be restricted in times of military emergency, due to its location adjacent to the Sunny Point Military Terminal.

Just to the south was Brunswick Town Battery (1740's), an old earthwork from the colonial period. The town was attacked by the Spanish in 1748. This battery was briefly used in 1862 by the CSA as Fort St. Philip was being built.
CSA Camp Belvidere was located about two miles north.

Fort Fisher (State Park)
(1861 - 1865), Kure Beach ¤National Archives MAP 1¤ | ¤National Archives MAP 2¤
Originally called Battery Bolles, it was rebuilt in 1862. It covered one mile of the shoreline on the eastern flank (sea-face), composed of eight seperate batteries (Battery Hedrick two guns, Lenoir Battery two guns, Battery Roland two guns, Purdie Battery one gun, Battery Bolles two guns, Columbiad Battery six guns, Cumberland Battery one gun, Battery Meade four guns), and one-third mile of land defense on the northern flank (land-face) (27 guns, including Shepherd's Battery four guns, a two-gun demilune covering the main sallyport, two guns covering the River Road sallyport, and the Northeast Bastion two guns). The 43-foot high two-gun Mound Battery (aka Battery Lamb (1)) was the southern anchor on the sea-face. Traces remain. Battery Holland provided a land defense on the northern flank. This fort was the last major stronghold of the Confederacy and was not captured until after several Union attempts in January 1865. It kept the Cape Fear River clear of Union ships. Most of the sea-face has eroded into the sea, as well as the Northeast Bastion. Shepherd's Battery and the palisades on the north flank have been reconstructed. The visitor center is located outside the land-face in the WWII airstrip.

Camp Wyatt was located two miles north of the fort, along with a hospital and commissary. Camp Badger was also located nearby. Three miles north along the shore was Flag Pond Battery, or Battery Anderson. Guarding the entrance to New Inlet was once Battery (or Fort) Buchanan, a four-gun elliptical earthwork at the tip of Federal (Confederate) Point. There was also Zeke's Island Battery (two guns) to the south (the site no longer exists). New Inlet has since shoaled over.
North Carolina Coastal Defenses


¤¤ Kure Beach Military Reservation
(1942 - 1944), Kure Beach
A four-gun 155mm battery in revetments was located outside old Fort Fisher to defend the inlet to Wilmington. Several 40mm and 90mm AA guns were also emplaced. Training firing ranges (90mm AA and 155mm) for nearby Camp Davis were also located here. Three steel observation towers were erected. Several concrete magazines were constructed near old Battery Buchanan, which was damaged as a result. On the north-side of old Fort Fisher was built Camp Davis Army Airfield, which later became Fort Fisher Air Force Station. The airstrip and modern-day US 421 have cut through the original land-face of Fort Fisher. (See also Camp Davis listed below)

Battery Gatlin
(1862 - 1865), Carolina Beach
The Union referred to it as Half-Moon Battery. It was part of the Wilmington outer defenses. At Sugarloaf on the river-side (Carolina Beach State Park) was a CSA signal station for Fort Anderson (1). Trenches still remain in the woods.

Civil War Defenses of Wilmington
(1861 - 1865), Wilmington
The city was surrounded by CSA earthwork batteries beginning in 1862. From south to north were McRae Battery, Parsley Battery, Bellamy Battery, Wright Battery (1), McRee Battery, Dawson Battery, Moore's Bastion (1), Miller Battery, Hobson Battery, Smith's Battery, Andrew Battery, and Green's Battery. Batteries along the riverfront were Batteries 1-5, renamed in 1863 to Batteries Wright (2), Meares, Moore (2), VanBokkelen, and Cowan. The city surrendered only after Fort Fisher fell.

CSA camps located in the general area were: Camp Anderson (1861) located within the city, Camp Lamb (1862 - 1865), Camp Jackson (1863 - 1865), and Camp Pettigrew (2) (1862).

To the south along the Cape fear River were Battery Tirza (renamed Battery Stokes in 1863), and Fort Strong (renamed Fort Davis in 1863). Further south were Fort French (three guns) (renamed Fort Lee [two guns] in 1863), Camp French (1862 - 1863) located behind Fort French, Fort Gun Battery (renamed Fort Campbell (2) (five guns) in 1863), and Fort Hill (1) (renamed Fort Meares [five guns] in 1863). All were located at the state port across from Campbell Island. These forts guarded obstructions in the river to block the Federal gunboats. No remains of any of them. Camp Leventhorpe (2) (1862) was located on Fowler's Point (location?).

To the east in Pine Valley (Forks Road Battlefield) are remains of CSA earthworks located at 17th Street Extension and Independence Blvd. South of the airport across from Smith Creek was CSA Camp Burgwyn (2). Camp Whiting (1) (1863) was CSA winter quarters located two miles east of downtown. Camp Heath was located at Scott's Hill. CSA Camp Davis (1) (1861 - 1864) was located on Middle Sound.

Topsail Inlet Civil War Camps
(1861 - 1865), Topsail Inlet
CSA camps located in the area included: Camp Ashe on Topsail Sound, Camp Florida on Topsail Island, Camp Pettigrew (3) (1863) on Topsail Island.

Camp Davis (2)
(1940 - 1945), Holly Ridge
A WWII Coast Artillery anti-aircraft (90mm), seacoast gun (155mm), and barrage balloon training center. Firing ranges were located at Kure Beach (Fort Fisher), Holly Shelter, Maple Hill, New Topsail Inlet, and Sears Point. Closed in 1944, the post then became an Army Air Corps convalescent hospital. The post's HQ building was restored as a restaurant in 1974. (See also Kure Beach Reservation listed above)

Camp Cameron
(1862), Jacksonville
A CSA camp.

Camp Branch (3)
(1941 - 1944), Jacksonville
A WWII Coast Artillery (AA) training range and camp, located at the present-day Camp Lejeune Marine Base.

Bear Island Fort
(Hammocks Beach State Park)
(1749 - unknown), Bear Inlet
A small wooden NC colonial militia fort was once located here for protection against the Spanish. The actual site has eroded into the sea.

Huggins' Island Fort
(1862), Huggins Island
A Confederate six-gun fort guarding Bogue Inlet. It was burned by the Federals in 1862. There are still some remains left. Administered by Hammocks Beach State Park.

Cape Lookout Fort
(1757), Cape Lookout
A NC colonial militia fort was proposed for this location to prevent French vessels from using the anchorage, but it is uncertain if it was ever actually built.

Fort Hancock
(1778 - 1780), Cape Lookout
Built by the French to protect their ships in Lookout Bight. It was later dismantled. Remains still existed as late as 1899. A marker is located on Harker's Island at Shell Point.

Carolina City Camp
(1861 - 1862), Morehead City
A large Confederate camp covering over one square mile in area. It was taken by the Union in 1862 during the Fort Macon campaign. Site is now Morehead City Park.
Also located here was Camp Glenn, a state National Guard camp (1911 - 1918) followed by a Navy base (1918 - 1920). Then it became the first U.S. Coast Guard air station (1920 - 1921). The Navy returned in 1941 for use as an Area Section Base.

Other CSA camps located in the general area were: Camp Argyle, Camp Burgwyn (1) located at Atlantic Beach, Camp Canal in Morehead City, Camp Vance (3) one mile west of the city, and Camp Wilkes (1861) two miles from Fort Macon.

Fort Macon (State Park)
(1834 - 1903, 1941 - 1945), Atlantic Beach
Earlier forts were located here, including: Fort Dobbs (2) (1756), which was never completed, and five-gun Fort Hampton (1809 - 1815). The sites of both eventually eroded into the sea. The current fort was one of only three masonry forts in the state before the Civil War. The Confederates held it from 1861 to 1862. The fort was used as a Federal prison from 1865 to 1876. A temporary battery was set up on the parapet in 1898. Black state troops were encamped outside the fort in 1898 until transferred to Camp Poland in Tennessee. This was the second state park in North Carolina (1924). It was restored in 1935. The Army regained the use of the fort in WWII, and had to demolish every new structure prior to handing it back to the state after the war. Fort Macon is currently undergoing extensive repairs. Another website at
North Carolina Coastal Defenses

North Carolina Coastal Defenses

¤¤¤ Fort Macon and Cape Lookout Batteries
(Fort Macon State Park) (Cape Lookout National Seashore)
(1941 - 1945), Atlantic Beach and Cape Lookout
On the beach at Ft. Macon during World War II was Battery Macon, which had four 155mm guns (1941-1942) in revetments and later two 6-inch naval guns (1942-1944) on concrete mounts. It is now buried in the surf. Two 75mm field guns were emplaced on Bogue Point in 1941. Two mobile 90mm guns were emplaced on Bogue Point (1944 - 1945) near the rock jetty, as an examination battery. Battery Atlantic Beach (1941-1942), four 155mm guns in revetments, was located two and a half miles west of Atlantic Beach, almost due south of Camp Glenn in Morehead City. Two guns were later sent to Cape Lookout. There was a concrete observation post and plotting room (now in ruins) behind Battery Macon, another observation post by Battery Atlantic Beach, and a Harbor Entrance Control Post (dismantled after the war) on the parapet of Fort Macon. Another observation post was located on Shackleford Banks, on the western side by the inlet, and another about two miles west of Battery Atlantic Beach on Bogue Banks. There were seven searchlight positions from Atlantic Beach to Cape Lookout Point.

At Cape Lookout was Battery Cape Lookout which had two 155mm guns (1942) in revetments, and later two 5-inch naval guns (1942-1944) on concrete mounts. That battery is now in the surf near the old Coast Guard Station. An SCR-296A radar tower was in the dunes in front of the Coast Guard Station, and a Battery Commander's tower was on the shore behind the battery. Observation posts were located on Shackleford Banks near Bald Hill Bay, and on South Core Banks about four miles northeast of the Lighthouse. A Naval Radio Compass tower was 340 yards west of the SCR-296A radar tower. There were four 75mm guns (1941-1943) in field emplacements around the Coast Guard Station. Lookout Bight was a mined and net-protected safe anchorage for allied merchant ships until 1944.

Newport Barracks
(1861 - 1865), Newport
Confederate winter barracks captured by the Union in 1862. Became the Union command post for the defensive system from New Bern to Morehead City.

Camp Graham
(1861 - 1862), Newport
A CSA camp located near the later-built Union Fort Benjamin.

Fort Benjamin
(1862), Newport
A Union fort located across the Newport River from town.

Havelock Station Blockhouse
(1862 - 1864), Havelock
A Union log blockhouse near Master's Mill that protected the railroad trestle over Slocum Creek. It was burned by CSA raiders in 1864.
(thanks to Edward Ellis, Havelock historian, for providing info)

Fort Pollock
(1712 - unknown), Carteret County
A NC colonial militia fort built somewhere on Core Sound (exact location undetermined).

Northeastern North Carolina - page 2 | Western North Carolina - page 3


Eastern Forts