Civil War Round Table: Great Battle of Roanoke Island

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Time & Place

    • The Mariners' Museum and Park

      February 15, 2019, 12:30 p.m.

      100 Museum Drive
      Newport News, VA 23606
    • Phone: 757-596-2222
      Highway Exit: 258A from I-64
      Website: Click here to visit us online


Join USS Monitor Center’s Director Emeritus John V. Quarstein in the Mariners’ Park Café for this stimulating Civil War themed discussion. Roanoke Island was key to access the North Carolina Sounds. These shallow, large bodies of water provided access to Norfolk, Virginia, via the Great Dismal Swamp and Chesapeake & Albemarle canals. Control of this avenue of invasion would threaten Norfolk and the Gosport Navy Yard from its back door. The Federals organized a Coastal Division of 13,000 men under the command of Brigadier General Ambrose E. Burnside. This force was taken down the coast in extremely stormy conditions and crossed Hatteras Inlet into Pamlico Sound by February 5, 1862. The Confederate defenses, under the overall command of Brigadier General Henry Wise, were based on a troop strength of 3,000 men, four forts and gunboats of Flag Officer William Lynch's North Carolina Squadron. These forces were unable to stop the Union gunboats which enabled Federal troops to land without opposition. The Unionists then forced Fort Barlow to surrender and the rich agricultural region of eastern North Carolina fell under Federal control.