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Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point Collection

Identifier: SC-MS-177

Scope and Contents

This collection contains material related to the U.S. Army's Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU) in Southport, Brunswick County, North Carolina. The terminal functions as a transport location for various military supplies. Contents include operational documents of the terminal, newspaper clippings, maps and archaelogical surveys of MOTSU, and safety, environmental, and preservation reports. The bulk of the collection is dated between 1952 and 1992.

It also includes historical documents, maps, and plans of both the terminal and its surrounding areas, such as the Cape Fear River and Fort Johnston, from the late 1700s and 1800s, particularly in relation to the Civil War. Please note, these are all photocopies or replicas of the originals, which are not part of the collection.


  • Creation: 1767-1888 (photocopies), 1911-2000
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1952-1992

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Historical Note

Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU) is the largest ammuniition port in the United States. Run by the U.S. Army, MOTSU was first built in 1951 and opened in 1955 on the west bank of the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County, NC, across more than 8,000 acres. Its isolation and promixity to sea, highway, and rail travel made it ideally placed for the import, export, and storage of ammunition, explosive equipment, and other military cargo.

MOTSU has moved ammunitions for every major armed conflict since it was established, particularly during the Vietnam War shortly after it opened and the Persian Gulf War in the 1990s. The land the terminal sits on was once home to a plantation from as early as 1725 and later became the site of a Confederate battery during the Civil War.


3 Containers (Contains 3 document boxes and 14 map case folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into series by type of material and then chronologically.

Acquisition Information

Method and date of acquisition unknown.

Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point Collection
Matt Bradley
2022 November 30
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository