“War of 1812: A Nation Forged by War”

Southport - Federal, state and local entities have created symposia, exhibitions, and living history programming in commemoration of the War of 1812. The sections among the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources have collaborated seamlessly to bring these educational opportunities to both Southport and Beaufort. October was a memorable month as we worked together on Lower Cape Fear and the War of 1812, a program filled with stimulating speakers, hands-on history, and murder mystery.


Building on momentum, the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport has received a new temporary exhibition from the US navy entitled War of 1812: A Nation Forged in War. This six panel set gives patrons an overview of the "Second War for Independence" on land and sea. Included are QR codes that provide additional information and videos for smart phone users. Interpreters at the museum can further bring the war home by discussing Fort Johnston's role.

In the spring of 1812 approximately 7,000 militia men answered the call to arms in defense of North Carolina and its fledgling country. They were split by county to go to Fort Johnston (Smithville) and Fort Hampton (Beaufort) to protect the coast against British attack, without pay, provisions, and adequate armaments. These troops had to deal with silence, conflicting orders from military and political leaders, and had to contend with limited supplies and training. Consequently, North Carolina during The War of 1812 is a thought-provoking study.

Visit the museum to enjoy this new exhibition and to rediscover the War of 1812.

Southport Donation

Make a one-time donation specifically to the Maritime Museum at Southport. The Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donors may deduct contributions as provided in Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. Financial information and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 919-807-2214. The license is not an endorsement by the State.


Volunteers are needed for the great times at the Maritime Museums. Share your love of history, culture and North Carolina's well-loved coast.  Each Museum offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, from working with children to helping with events.