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In order to make the most effective use of the time your students have on-site, teachers should make arrangements to have their class view the 12-minute Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson orientation program prior to their arrival. While this program focuses primarily on the colonial period, it is an excellent starting point to understanding the significance of the site. Viewing the orientation program before your visit will allow time for more hands-on experience at the site. The video is available on the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources YouTube channel.
If possible, students should read the following sections of The Civil War in Coastal North Carolina by John S. Carbone which provide background information on the Cape Fear region during the Civil War, blockade running and the economic hardships faced by the people in the area, particularly Wilmington: Prologue: Banshee!, Reluctant to Leave the Union, Efforts for Wartime Reconstruction and Reunion, State Politics and the Home Front
Students should read the Site Narratives provided in this unit which describe the importance of Wilmington and the importance of the Cape Fear River Defenses. The resources will also detail the history of Ft. Anderson and the intriguing connection between Fort Anderson and Abraham Lincoln.
Teachers may use the Lesson Plan Every Picture Tells A Story as a pre-visit or post-visit activity or a stand-alone classroom lesson. Classes preparing for a field trip to the site should familiarize themselves with the Glossary of Terms prior to their visit.