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Back You are here: Home Features Events and Features Local Events Cape Fear Museum News: Explore the Civil War at Cape Fear Museum

Cape Fear Museum News: Explore the Civil War at Cape Fear Museum

WILMINGTON, N.C. – As North Carolina commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Cape Fear Museum explores how people in the Lower Cape Fear region experienced the nation’s most significant conflict. Fragments of War, now open, combines the stories of wartime symbols with the more intimate histories of some local men who served in the Confederate military. How did flags like the Museum’s 34-star United States flag and Confederate Second National Flag become emblems of rebellion and loyalty?
Learn about soldiers like Major-General William Whiting, who commanded of the Confederacy’s Cape Fear District and was charged with to keep the port open for shipping and to improve the region’s defenses. And Colonel William Lamb, who upon taking command of Fort Fisher in 1862, redesigned it to make one of the largest earthwork fortifications in the Americas by the first bombardment in December 1864.
What was it like to fight in the war? Some died in battle, some died in camp, some died in prison, and some survived it all but with lasting physical and emotional scars. What was it like for the women, children, and the elderly left behind?  Goods were scare and women struggled to maintain farms, plantations, and businesses, and to manage enslaved people. By mixing all these pieces of information together, we hope visitors will ask themselves “What can fragments tell us about Civil War experiences?”
After exploring the exhibit, families can discover what life was like in the 1860s in the Learning Center on December 22 and 29. Investigate the contents of a Civil War soldier’s haversack and consider how the items compare to things you use daily. Learn how to create and crack secret codes.  Try on reproduction Civil War clothing and play a Blockade Runner board game.  Admission is free for members or with general admission. Learning Center is offered from 1-4 PM on most Saturdays. Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, a department of New Hanover County, 814 Market St., is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday -Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; Labor Day through Memorial Day. General admission is $7 for adults; $6 for students and senior citizens; $6 special military rate with valid military ID; $4 for children 3-17; and free for children under 3 and for museum members. New Hanover County residents’ free day is the first Sunday of each month. More information: www.capefearmuseum.com.

December Programs

• Learning Center - In the Learning Center on Saturdays, the whole family can conduct experiments, explore artifacts, play fun games, and create exciting tools and toys to take home. Parental participation is required.
• December – Explore the Civil War - Dates: Saturday, December 22, 29 from 1-4 PM for all ages. Fee: Free for members or with Museum admission. What was life like in the 1860s?  Investigate the contents of a Civil War soldier’s haversack and consider how the items compare to things you use daily.  Use a cipher disk to create and crack secret codes.  Make your own flag and play a Civil War-era game. 
Cape Fear Skies
3-2-1-Blast off! Cape Fear Skies offers your family a realistic planetarium experience the third Sunday of each month. Venture into outer space as you hear mythical tales and explore stars, planets, and more.  Parental participation is required.
• December - Earth, Moon, and Sun - Date: Sunday, December 16, Times:  1:30, 2:30 & 3:30 PM for all ages. Fee: Free for members or with Museum admission. Venture into our portable planetarium and investigate how Earth, the moon, and the sun work together. Observe eclipses, moon phases, and more.