The Fort was taken over by Confederate Soldiers in April 1861. However, it would only last in Confederate hands for one year, as Union forces under General Ambrose Burnside captured the Fort on April 26, 1862. (2) The Fort remained in Union control for the remainder of the war and served as a prison during the Reconstruction. (1) It would sit empty for 21 years until it was hastily re-garrisoned in 1898 for coastal protection during the Spanish-American War. In 1903, the fort sat empty once again until World War II. Fort Macon was then outfitted with modern arms and troops to defend the Beaufort Inlet against German submarines. (3) Although the fort saw no action, a number of American vessels and even a German sub was sunk nearby.
Today, Fort Macon State Park is one of North Carolina most popular parks, seeing over one million visitors a year. (4) The Fort was first handed over to the state in 1924 for a sum of one dollar. It would make Fort Macon, North Carolina's second state park. (2) It took another decade for the park to be restored for use. The fort's active duty in World War II technically lasted until 1946 when the military returned the property to the state.
Other features of the park include - sand dunes and nature trails around Beaufort Inlet. You can still find many remnants of the defenses used during the Second World War. The stone jetties that still protect the shore from beach erosion were first designed by Robert E. Lee in 1840. (5)
|Inside the grounds of Ft. Macon|
|A cannon watches over Bouge Inlet|