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During 1862, Federal forces led by General Ambrose Burnside attacked Confederate positions on Roanoke Island, which is off the coast of North Carolina in the chain of islands known as the Outer Banks. Roanoke Island controlled the inner seas of North Carolina. The Union victory on Roanoke Island led to the northern coastal region of North Carolina coming under Federal control.


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the War
Between
the States

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Roanoke Island
8th February 1862

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Brig. General Burnside commanded 11,500 men on a 65-ship fleet off the coast of North Carolina in early 1862. The fleet came up the coast from the south along the western shore of Roanoke Island, where they defeated the small Confederate fleet. General Burnside put his forces ashore at the southern end of Roanoke Island (position a on the map), and they traveled north toward the Confederate position.

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Midway up the island the Confederate forces of 1,500 constructed earthworks along their defensive line and waited for the advance of Federal troops, who made a flanking movement through the swamps. The Confederates then retreated to the northern end of the island, where they surrendered. Union forces had possession of the entire island and control of the North Carolina coastal waters.



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