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Library to host celebrated local historian Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle, Jr

BURGAW – On Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at 6 p.m., Pender County Library will be hosting Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle Jr., Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of History at UNC Wilmington, at the Main Library in Burgaw.

The 1776 Battle of Moores Creek Bridge, the first pitched engagement in North Carolina during the Revolutionary War, is a well-known event locally. What many are unaware of is that this was not the only significant event during the war in Pender County. Join us to hear the stories of two other significant Revolutionary War sites. Both feature prominent earthworks that have survived rampant regional growth and development for 243 years. Learn how and why they came to be built and what role they played in the last years of America’s War for Independence.

Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle Jr. is a native Wilmingtonian with a lifelong interest in American Civil War, North Carolina, and Cape Fear history. He taught courses on the Civil War, Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear, and antebellum America at UNCW for over 20 years. His research focuses on coastal operations, defenses, and blockade running in southeastern North Carolina during the Civil War. He has published books and articles including “The Wilmington Campaign: Last Rays of Departing Hope,” “Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear: An Illustrated History,” and “Fort Fisher 1865: The Photographs of T.H. O’Sullivan.”

In 2014, then-Governor Pat McCrory appointed Dr. Fonvielle to the North Carolina Historical Commission. Upon his retirement from UNC Wilmington in 2018, he was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for distinguished service to the State of North Carolina, signed by Governor Roy Cooper. He is also a regular tour guide for Wilmington Water Tours, a featured guest on the “Cape Fear Unearthed” podcast, and a contributor of articles on Cape Fear history for Salt Magazine.

For more information, contact Shannon Kidney at 910-259-1245 or email us at:


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