The non-profit organizations Friends of Fort Fisher, Inc. at Fort Fisher State Historic Site in Kure Beach, North Carolina and the Friends of Elmira Civil War Prison Camp, Elmira, New York have a mutual interest in commemorating the soldiers and the history of the Civil War at Fort Fisher and at Elmira. The goals are not only to educate but also to preserve pertinent historical sites, buildings, and artifacts for posterity, education and interpretation. Fort Fisher is the most visited State Historic Site in North Carolina with annual attendance that exceeded 850,000 last year. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places and was North Carolina’s first federally designated National Historic Landmark.
This mutual interest between the two organizations is strengthened due to the 1,121 Confederate captives from Fort Fisher who were sent to Elmira Prison after the fall of Fort Fisher on January 15, 1865. Fort Fisher was called the “Gibraltar of the South” and guarded the seaport city of Wilmington, NC and the shipping lifeline of the Confederacy.
This was a tragic time in the history of the United States and a tragedy for the 1,121 Confederate captives who arrived in Elmira during the cold winter of January, 1865. The journey from Fort Fisher was a fatal journey for 518 Fort Fisher soldiers who would die in the Elmira Prisoner of War Camp within five months. These men were primarily from North Carolina and South Carolina. They suffered from the harsh winter in New York and the lack of proper sanitation, rations and clothing in the Elmira Prison. Fort Fisher soldiers made up 26% of the 2,970 deaths in Elmira Prison. Now they lie buried far from home in the Confederate Section of the Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira, New York.
Be sure to view the Friends of Elmira POW Camp website to see the exciting progress being made on raising funds and reconstructing one of the original prison camp buildings that is slated to become a visitor center and museum to honor all of those whose fate were bound up in the prisoner of war camp as a Confederate prisoner or as part of the rotating Union regiments guarding the prisoners.
Join us in remembering and honoring those who served their nation and state during the Civil War and particularly those soldiers who died in far off prison camps and never returned to their home states. You can honor them with your membership and financial support in either the Friends of Fort Fisher, Inc. (www.friendsoffortfisher.com) and Friends of Elmira Civil War Prison Camp (www.elmiraprisoncamp.com).
For information contact: