Fayetteville's Military Museums Abound
The museums of Cumberland County provide a comprehensive history of the United States and the military conflicts it has encountered since the American Revolution.
The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex details the early history of the Cape Fear region, up to and including the Civil War. The star attraction of this three-part site is Arsenal Park, where visitors can stroll through the remnants of the Fayetteville Arsenal, a major munitions producer during the Civil War, and thus a target of destruction by General Sherman on his historic march through the Carolinas.
On the corner of Ardennes and Gela Streets on Fort Bragg, the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum shares the history of the Division from its birth in 1917, to the airborne battles of World War II, to the campaigns in Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, and the Person Gulf, to the present. An impressive field of aircraft and machinery can be viewed outside and quiet memorials line the walkway beside the museum.
Just a few blocks away, the JFK Special Warfare Museum, established in 1963, spotlights the proud history of the U.S. Army Special Operations and Special Forces units, also known as the Green Berets. The history of unconventional warfare spans more than 250 years, dating back to the French and Indian War and Rogers Rangers. The museum contains many unique items from World War II, the Vietnam War and current operations.
In downtown Fayetteville, the Airborne and Special Operations Museum preserves the extraordinary feats performed by airborne troops and their brother in arms, the special operations forces. Artifact displays, life-size dioramas, audio and visual displays, and a motion simulator, lend insight into the remarkable achievements of these brave Airborne soldiers.
Those who are planning ahead can schedule a visit to the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Armory and Museum. On Aug. 23, 1793, the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry (FILI) was organized after President George Washington enacted the Militia Act. During the Civil War, the FILI took over the Fayetteville Arsenal for the Confederate forces. The armory contains historical artifacts, weapons, uniforms, and memorabilia, including the carriage that the Marquis de Lafayette rode on his visit to Fayetteville. The FILI is an active ceremonial unit and is North Carolina's official historic military command.
For more information, visit www.VisitFayettevilleNC.com, or call (910) 483-5311.
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