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This battle consumed most of the water from Hatteras Island to the Albemarle Sound. It was the beginning of the battles that led the Union to gaining control of Roanoke Island and the North Carolina coast.


  • Painting of the battle of Roanoke Island.
  • Monument commemorating the naval battle of Roanoke Island.

Before General Burnside made landfall on Roanoke Island there was a naval battle. The Union fleet was delayed due to bad weather in the sounds. When they were finally able to make their way into the North Carolina sounds.

General Burnside had 20 vessels at his disposal. On February 7th, 1862 just before General Burnside made landfall on Roanoke Island they fired upon Fort Bartow a Confederate fort at the southern part of Roanoke Island. The Confederates returned fire but to little avail. The Confederates waited until the Union fleet made it into the Croatan Sound, the Confederate fleet tried to retaliate but could not because of darkness and lack of ammunition.

The Union fleet defeated the Confederate fleet. This gave them the chance to provide additional fire power for General Burnside during his land assault on Roanoke Island. This helped propel the Union to victory and control of the North Carolina coast.