previous next
[26] proper munitions of war, and admiration for their untiring energies and plucky utilization of sand-bars, turf, and smooth-bore guns.

As the Federal government tightened the blockade, rapidly raising the number of its ships from 42 in 1861 to 6711 in 1864, it saw the necessity of possessing these sounds for safe anchorage, and it realized, as Scharf puts it, ‘that they were depots from which the very central line of inland communication of the Confederates might be broken, and that they were the “back-door” to Norfolk, by which the navy yard might be regained.’ Moreover, the daring excursions of little Confederate vessels, mounting one or two guns, like the Winslow, under the restlessly energetic Thomas M. Crossan, which dashed out from these inlets to reap a rich harvest in captured vessels, raised such an outcry in Northern business circles that there was added incentive to seize the home waters of these vessels. An illustration of the activity of these diminutive ships of war is found in the fact that in the month and a half preceding the capture of Hatteras they had seized as prizes eight schooners, seven barks and one brig.2

Accordingly, in August, 1861, the Federal government fitted out at Fortress Monroe a combined army and navy expedition for an attack on the two forts at Hatteras. The land forces,3 consisting of 800 infantry and 60 artillerymen, were commanded by Gen. B. F. Butler; the naval force, comprising the war vessels Wabash, Susquehanna, Pawnee, Monticello, Cumberland, Harriet Lane and transport ships, carrying in all 143 guns, was commanded by Flag-Officer S. H. Stringham. these forces sailed for Hatteras inlet on the 26th of August and arrived off the inlet that afternoon.

To resist this formidable expedition, the Confederates

1 Lossing's Civil War.

2 Schedule in Rebellion Records, IV, 588.

3 Rebellion Records, IV, 580

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Norfolk (Virginia, United States) (1)
Fortress Monroe (Virginia, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Rebellion Records (2)
S. H. Stringham (1)
Scharf (1)
Lossing (1)
Thomas M. Crossan (1)
B. F. Butler (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1864 AD (1)
August, 1861 AD (1)
1861 AD (1)
August 26th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: