The Fleet Attacks Hatteras
Today the North began an attack on the Confederate Forts at Hatteras Inlet. Cape Hatteras stretches along the entire eastern border of the United States. During the Civil War it had important strategic significance. It provided access to Norfolk, an important Confederate naval base. The Northern trading ships would travel through the sound where the Confederate ships could easily capture them. The Confederates, knowing the North would not allow them to continue these attacks without an effort to stop them, built to forts at Hatteras Inlet, Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark. But the forts were very weak. They only mounted 15 guns, and only part of a regiment, the 7th North Carolina, occupied the fort. The Federals 880 men under Gen. Benjamin Butler to capture the fort. With him went seven ships, the USS MinnesotaCumberlandSusquehannaWabashPawneeMonticello, and Harriet Lane.
USS Wabash
The Northern fleet opened fire upon Fort Clark on the morning of August 28th and the defenders returned fire. Neither was very accurate, but soon the defenders ran out of ammunition and abandoned the fort. Moving on to Fort Hatteras, they continued the bombardment. The commander kept his ships moving to avoid being hit by the fort. But this also had the side effect of the gunners not being able to correct their shots at the fort. The defenders kept up a slow fire to avoid running out of ammunition. At one point, the flag having been shot away, the commander thought the fort had surrendered. The Monticello, sailing in to determine the truth, received the fire of the fort as she drew closer. She grounded, and was hit five times by the fire of the fort. However, she received no serious damage.

Butler had attempted to land his troops for a land attack, but owing to the high waves, less than half of them had reached the shore. When evening arrived, the bombardment ceased and both forces waited to renew the contest the next day.

Troops land on Hatteras

Post from Civil War 150th Blog.

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