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Was there any activity around Greenfield Lake during the Civil War?

Ben Steelman

Not really, according to Chris Fonvielle, associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of “The Wilmington Campaign: Last Rays of Departing Hope.”

No fighting took place near the lake, Fonvielle said. Confederate engineers used it as a kind of defensive moat. A line of earthworks ran up the ridge on the north side of present-day Greenfield Street, then east toward Cape Fear Country Club.

A redoubt called Dawson’s Battery (for Wilmington’s wartime mayor, John Dawson) anchored earthworks that crossed modern-day Oleander Drive, Wrightsville Avenue and Market Street and wound up in the vicinity of Oakdale Cemetery. Slave labor dug most of the earthworks and the artillery batteries placed at different points along the line.


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