Photos and Information about Piver's Island, the Rachel Carson Reserve, Shackelford Banks and Fort Macon

Fort Macon

During the 18th and 19th centuries the area around Beaufort and Beaufort Inlet was highly vulnerable to attack. The construction of Fort Dobbs was begun in 1756 during the French and Indian War, but when the war ended the fort was never completed. Early in the 1800s a small masonry fort was built that guarded the inlet during the War of 1812. Shoreline erosion and a hurricane had swept Fort Hampton into Beaufort Inlet by 1825.  

The War of 1812 demonstrated the weakness of existing coastal defenses. The United States government began construction on an improved chain of coastal fortifications. This undertaking involved the construction of thirty-eight new, permanent coastal forts known as the Third System. As part of this system, pentagon-shaped 26-casemate Fort Macon, with a ditch separating its covertway and inner citadel, was designed by Brigadier General Simon Bernard and built by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. The fort was named for native North Carolinian Nathaniel Macon (1758–1837), who served in the Revolutionary War and as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, until he returned to his home state and served in the state senate. Construction began in 1826. Using brick made in the area and masons from Beaufort and other parts of the country, the US Army Corps of Engineers completed the fort in December, 1834. Total cost of the fort was $463,790. 
Fort Macon ALBUM of 1862 Drawings and Etchings