Fort Branch Confederate
Earthen Fort Civil War Site
... is located two miles below Hamilton,
North Carolina and 60 miles upriver of the town of Plymouth.
Sitting 70 feet above a bend in the Roanoke River, this
Confederate earthen fort provided a safe and clear view of
Union gunboats approaching from down river.
Eleven cannon offered significant protection for the railway
bridge over the river at Weldon, a weak link in the
"Lifeline of the Confederacy" between Wilmington, NC and
Richmond, VA. The fort also protected the nearby
construction site of the ironclad ram C.S.S. Albemarle which
later helped regain control of the lower Roanoke River and
Albemarle Sound by sinking wooden
Union ships. Citizens of the entire Upper Roanoke Valley
benefited from the fort, as well.
Today, the site is the winter headquarters for the First
North Carolina Volunteers, a Civil War re-enactment group. A
battle re-enactment is held annually at the fort on
first weekend in November and includes a unique Living
History Program. The annual events schedule often includes a
springtime Living History Program and a unique Civil War
Christmas celebration, as well.
Visit the site and you can see eight
of the fort's original cannon, making Fort Branch the only
earthwork fortification in the South with its original
artillery in place. You can also see a restored late 1800s
steam engine from The Ranger, and local
Native American pottery and artifacts from Hoggtown, a
nearby eighteenth century river community. Other attractions
include rebuilt gun emplacements and an 1850s farmhouse
which is being restored.
The Fort Branch Battlefield Commission
works to preserve and restore the Fort and its
heritage. Browse this web site to learn more about the
history of Fort Branch and the ongoing preservation project.
We invite you to visit during one of our events and to take
part in supporting the fort's preservation.
MOUSE OVER EACH IMAGE
Fort Branch is located 3 miles
southeast of Hamilton, N.C. Just off NC Hwy 125/903 at 2883
Fort Branch Road in Martin County on the Roanoke River.
Click here for DRIVING DIRECTIONS.
Hours of Operation
Fort Branch is open to the public
on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:30 to 5:30 pm beginning
the first Saturday in
April through the re-enactment weekend in November. Other times by