A week ago, I was just getting home from the Fort Fisher event. I had meant to post some thoughts earlier, but book proofs and other things got in the way. So, here are my thoughts:
Overall, it was a fantastic event, and, I believe, a model for others to emulate. The mix of speakers and historians, the living historians and re-enactors, and various other groups, all came together to produce a great event.
We arrived on Saturday morning and got checked in, and began to scope out the area. Having been to the Ft. Fisher State Historic site on several occasions, I was familiar with the area. Talks started at 10:00 am, and I had a chance to sit in on the portions of the lectures delivered by several, including Rod Gragg and Chris Fonvielle. Pat McCory, Governor of North Carolina, spoke at the monument at Battlefield Acre shortly after 11:00 am on Saturday, followed by Ed Bearss. The battle portion of the reenactment started at 1:00 pm on Saturday with a shot from the Fort's 32-pounder. Saturday evening concluded with a lantern tour. Estimated visitor count on Saturday was placed at 12,500 folks.
Late Saturday night and into early Sunday morning, the rains blew through the area. Despite the sogginess, there were still throngs of visitors at the site. The reenactment scheduled to begin at 10:00 am was pushed back to 12:00. I spoke again at 1:30, and about 3:30, we started back toward the mountains.
As I mentioned before, it was good to see the reenactors and sutlers, the living history displays, listen to the lectures, and visit with the Friends of Ft. Fisher and the various Sons of Confederate Veterans camps set up. Kudos to the George Davis Camp, SCV. They had brought their notes and records, along with their North Carolina Troop books, and were helping people look up their Confederate ancestors. There was also a reunion during the weekend for people whose ancestors had originally served on the Confederate or Union side during the war at Ft. Fisher.
Overall, it was a fantastic event.