Saving History Saturday: Joseph Ryder Lewis Jr. Civil War Park

Before Joseph Ryder Lewis Jr. passed away in 2010, he bequeathed 10 acres with the condition that it be turned into a public park and preserve the Sugar Loaf earthworks which were part of the defenses of Fort Fisher which guarded Wilmington, North Carolina. The town of Carolina Beach and the Federal Point Historical Preservation Society worked together to ensure that Lewis’s goal was obtained in a way that would be beneficial for the entire community and for historic preservation.

The Sugar Loaf earthworks—named by Confederate soldiers—had originally been a mile-long defensive line constructed in 1864. The fighting that occurred along this line led to the fall of Wilmington in 1865, and it is also a battle area for U.S. Colored Troops. Over the decades, the earthworks have been flattened, and Lewis had wanted to make sure that part of the final remaining line could be preserved intact.

To learn more about this new historical park and how the community came together to complete the preservation effort, please view this original reporting:

2 Responses to Saving History Saturday: Joseph Ryder Lewis Jr. Civil War Park

  1. …”if we erase history, how are we going to teach future generations about it?” Mr. Lewis words reflect my feelings. I admire the community for honoring his long-time request and Chris Fonvielle for his efforts to research the events surrounding the ‘last days of the Civil War in NC’.

  2. Thanks for bring the late Joseph Ryder Lewis Jr’s gift and Chris Fonvielle’s efforts to our attention. Preserving and saving a small part of America’s story is just as important as the big parts. I look forward to stopping by the Joseph Ryder Lewis Jr Civil War Park when visiting Fort Fisher.

    We must remember that we owe a debt to those who sacrifice their youth, limbs and lives to defend our liberties, and that they should not be dismissed or forgotten with another strip mall or housing development.

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!