Exhibition honoring Lumbee men forced to labor at Fort Fisher during the Civil War, presented by heads of state

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KURE BEACH, NC (WECT) – This week, state officials joined the Lumbee Tribe and Native American tribal leaders from across North Carolina to officially launch the new state exhibit at Fort Fisher, which honors the Lumbee men who were drafted and forced to work at Fort Fisher during the Civil War.

The new exhibit at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site is titled “A Memory a People May Not Forget: The Lumbee Indians at Fort Fisher.”

The exhibit depicts the vital role played by the Lumbee Indians in building the fort’s massive earthworks alongside free and enslaved African Americans. Faced with the reality of conscription and brutal working conditions, the Lumbee Indians endured seemingly endless labor demands to build what would come to be known as Southern Gibraltar.

Officials in attendance for the start of the exhibit included Michelle Lanier, Director, North Carolina State Historic Sites Division, Sarah Koonts, Acting Assistant Secretary and State Archivist, Pamela B. Cashwell, Secretary, Department of Administration, Robin Cummings, Chancellor, University of North Carolina. in Pembroke, Nancy Fields, Director, Museum of the Southeast American Indian and Greg Richardson, Director, NC Commission of Indian Affairs and Lumbee Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin, Jr.

The exhibit was curated by the Museum of the Southeast American Indian and the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. The exhibit uses text, maps, photographs and diagrams to show the grim price paid by individuals who were transported over a hundred miles from their homes to build the colossal Confederate Fortress.

The Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located at 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd in Kure Beach.

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