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|All, while on vacation to Emerald Isle, NC, I had the opportunity to drag the in-laws and my wife to Fort Macon, which is on the eastern tip of the island. Fort Macon was built to defend Beaufort, NC as part of the "Third System" in the 1820s-30s. It was occupied by North Carolina militia the day North Carolina seceded. Then as part of A. Burnside's outer-banks campaign in early 1862, it fell after a brief siege. Now it is a state park and one of the best interpreted forts that I have been to. Its a small fort, so I only had to hold the attention of my in-laws for two hours. There were lots of exhibits showing soldier garrison life that the kids would like. The battle itself was pretty straight forward and easily explained to those who have little intrest in the Civil War. The whole experience offers lots of teachable moments--the anaconda plan, garrison fort life, the impact of rifled artillery (verus smoothbore). So, all in all, if you are out to Outer Banks, Fort Macon is definately worth a trip. Cheers!