Fort Macon was constructed in 1826 as part of a costal chain of defense fortifications. Used intermittently following its construction, the ill-staffed fort was taken by a local secessionist militia in 1861 and became a base for Confederate volunteers. In the summer of 1861, the fort was staffed by eight infantry and heavy artillery companies. Following Union triumph at New Bern, Fort Macon was cut off from Confederate resources. Troops at the fort withdrew into the fortification and destroyed surrounding outbuildings in preparation of attack. On April 25, 1862, the Union began bombardment of the fort, eventually breaching the wall and damaging the magazine. Confederate forces surrendered the fort to the Union the following morning. Fort Macon would continue to be used as a fort and prison following the war. In 1923, the fort became a state park.