Friday September 29
Open 10am – 5pm

Captain’s Corner December

Captain’s Corner December

Event Start Date: December 16, 2023

Event End Date: December 16, 2023

Captain's Corner

Date: December 16th

Location: Cruiser Olympia at the Independence Seaport Museum

Cost: Included with any Ticket Package I Free for ISM Members


Bio: Mike Westermeier served seven years in the U.S. Army as a field artillery officer after receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Norwich University in 2004. After leaving the Army, he earned a Master of Arts Degree in Military History from Norwich University and worked as a liaison for the Center for Army Lessons Learned, as a Park Ranger at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and the Marine Corps History Division as the Unit Historian. Mike currently serves as the Exhibit Curator at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. He has delivered presentations on many military history topics, from the Battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Spotsylvania Courthouse to U.S. Marine Corps Navajo Code Talkers and the Battle of Hue City in the Vietnam War.


Topic Summary: On the night of 8 September 1863, over 400 Marines and sailors from the U.S. Navy's South Atlantic Blockading Squadron under Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren launched a small boat attack on Confederate-held Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. The attack failed miserably, and 117 Marines and sailors were captured and held as prisoners of war by the Confederate Army. The odyssey that the Marines began on the rubble-strewn face of Fort Sumter ended for most in the squalid stockade at the infamous Andersonville Prison in Georgia, while many of those who survived the experience suffered illness for the rest of their lives. Mike Westermeier, Exhibit Curator at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, will conduct a presentation that provides details of this lesser-known Marine battle of the American Civil War and the experiences of the Marine prisoners of war captured at Fort Sumter.

visit the seaport museum

Immerse yourself in award-winning and interactive exhibits and climb aboard the oldest floating steel warship in the world on Cruiser Olympia and submerge yourself aboard the World War II-era Submarine Becuna.