The North Carolina coast and its points of interest and defence.
The following description of the main points now threatened by the Yankees
on the coast of North Carolina
, may not prove uninteresting at this juncture:
Hatteras Inlet — the Granary of the South.
Hatteras Inlet, nearly midway between Fort Macon
and Roanoke Island
, because of the more difficult navigation of Ocracoke, may be said to be the key to Albemarle
, and Core Sounds
, and their tributaries.
, on account of its shallowness and the inaccessibility of the main land bordering it, is of little consequence to the enemy, except in a rear attack upon Beaufort
with light steamers.
Batteries are erected, we understand, to cut off such an attempt.--But the possession of Hatteras
by the enemy, in the absence of the most complete defence upon Neuse
and Pamlico rivers
and at Roanoke Island
, might give him entire control of the granary
of the South
, Perquimans, Chowan
, and even Northampton
and Halifax counties
, without these defences, are all laid open to his ravages.
These counties have heretofore furnished Norfolk
, and Savannah
a larger amount of corn than they obtained from all other sources, besides the large shipments they made to Baltimore
, New York
, and Providence
The product of surplus corn from these counties is immense.
Add to this the entire loss of the whole fishing
interest of these waters, amounting to several millions, besides affording one- half of the support of a large number of indigent persons, who can scarcely obtain it from any other source.
All these sources of wealth and comfort to our Eastern people might be cut off by the possession of these waters by the enemy, not to calculate the destruction of property and the personal injury our people must sustain from the thieving and destructive habits of our foe.
The two strategic points.
But within these waters are two strategic points of immense value to us, and ought to be protected at all hazards.
, one of these points, at the junction of the Neuse
and Trent rivers
, is about ninety miles by water from Hatteras
, with no natural obstructions to navigation after passing the swash at Hatteras
The possession of Newbern
simply as a depot, or for its destruction, would not be worth the hazard of taking it; but that point once gained places the enemy in the rear of Fort Macon
and Beaufort harbor, and gives him control of the Atlantic Railroad
We are far from thinking, however, that much would be gained except its destruction, and possibly the capture of Fort Macon
, even if he could take Newbern
; and we have some hope, that after the long warning which the authorities have had, and the money and labor expended there, that the enemy would fail.
But grant him the possession of that place, even with the immense force of Gen. Burnside
, we apprehend his headway would be readily checked.
He could scarcely get out of sight of that place westward were our forces, which could be well, spared, brought against him. An attack upon Washington
, which lies on Pamlico
or Tar river
, about eighty miles from Hatteras
, if successful, could secure no advantage to the enemy, except the destruction of the place.
These points, however, will be defended to the bitter end, and we trust the authorities have made all the necessary arrangements to visit upon the enemy utter annihilation.
is, beyond doubt, the most important strategic point in these waters — Whether the enemy designed an attack upon it to make a rear movement upon Norfolk
, or to harass and despoil the country, his success in either respect would be severely damaging.
This island lies about forty miles North of Hatteras
, at the foot of Albemarle Sound
, with Croatan Sound
on the West
, lying between the island and the Tyrrell shore.
It is easy of access by water, with no natural obstructions to any sized vessel that can be gotten over the Swash, (a shoal with about eight feet water,) at Hatteras
On the East
, the island is cut off from the Nag's Head
banks by a shallow sound not navigable, except by light boats.
The island is about eight miles long, and from two to three miles wide.
is about four miles wide at this point, with two good-channels, the best, however, lying within a mile and a half from the island.
The Western channel is about three miles from the island.
It is capable of being made a very strong position, and under the control of a good engineer, furnished with ample means, such as its importance demands, might be made impregnable against any force which could be brought against it. The possession of the island by the enemy would give him easy access to all of the above last named twelve counties by the navigable streams which penetrate them, and would place at his disposal Elizabeth City
, and Murfreesboro
'--all small, but, to our people, important towns.
The idea, however, which seems to prevail at the North
, and perhaps in some minds South, that Norfolk
would be endangered by the Burnside
fleet passing through the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal
, or the Dismal Swamp Canal
, is simply preposterous.
The narrow but deep streams through which the fleet must pass to enter the canals could so easily be closed up by the felling of timber as to cut off all possibility of a passage; and even if he were to be quick enough to reach the canals, his passage could be easily obstructed by the same means, or by breaking the locks and turning the water out. It would be equally hazardous for him to land troops in Currituck
, or Camden
, or at Elizabeth City
, to attempt a march towards Norfolk
, as his advance could be easily obstructed.
There are several points, however, at which there might be a successful movement, aiming at the rear of Norfolk
; but we suppress a notice of them, lest the information may suggest to the enemy schemes which might prove injurious to us. These points are doubtless known to the authorities, and, we trust, are well guarded.
We have grouped together, thus much, however, in order to impress upon the President
of the Confederacy
, the Governor
, of the State
, and to all whom our defence is confided, the immense importance of strongly for fying Roanoke Island
. N. C. Standard.