Southern, or Confederate forces constructed Fort Holmes on Bald Head Island during the Civil War. Fort Holmes consisted of a 1.7-mile long, earthen wall with five batteries, or locations with cannon. This is Battery #3.
Battery #3 contained five cannons. Three cannons were 24-pounders, meaning the cannons fired a 24-pound cannon ball with a roughly one-mile range. A fourth cannon was a 8-inch Columbiad. The 8-inch Columbiad fired a 65-pound cannon ball up to 2.7 miles away. Columbiads were one of the most powerful cannons within Fort Holmes. The fifth and final cannon in Battery #3 was a 68-pounder. This cannon fired a 68-pound cannon ball roughly 1.7 miles away.
These cannons protected the land approaches to the Cape Fear River. If enemy forces landed on East Beach, the enemy could travel across Bald Head Island and fire upon the Cape Fear River located on the western side of the island.