The new header on the blog is in honor of the week I just spent at Fort Fisher State Historic Site in Kure Beach, NC. The photo is of Admiral David Dixon Porter and his staff on the deck of the USS Malvern in December 1864. You will see the young and dashing William Barker Cushing on the left of the photo.
Fort Fisher is a special place to me. I began my career there as the Mary Holloway Seasonal Interpreter in the summer of 1998. I met my wife there when she worked as a part-time employee while in college. I have assisted in just about every living history program and reenactment that has taken place there in the past 9 years. I've met a lot of wonderful people there that have remained good friends and colleagues over the years. I have many memories and special moments at that earthen fortification situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River.
Now Fort Fisher is going through a major transition. In March, the Site Manager of 10 years resigned. A new manager has been in place for just under three months and a number of other staff changes have been made. Fort Fisher is in the process of becoming a different place, or at least different from what its been the past decade or so. I view all the changes at Fort Fisher in a positive light. I think everything that has happened so far will turn out for the good. I have confidence in the new manager and think he will do a fine job in continuing to make Fort Fisher one of the premier Civil War sites in North Carolina and the nation.
I spent last week at Fort Fisher training a new crop of artillerists to fire the site's 12-pounder Napoleon. It was one of the best classes I've ever had. I was also assisting the manager in conducting interviews for an open position at the site. Finally, I oversaw the artillery demonstrations for their annual summer artillery shoot yesterday. It couldn't have turned out better. While it was somewhat inconvenient to be out of the office for an entire week, it was one of the most rewarding and satisfying weeks I've had in quite a while. I encourage everyone to keep an eye on Fort Fisher and visit when you get a chance. Good things are happening!