Battle of Roanoke Island Online Exhibit

Battle of Roanoke Island

The Battle of Roanoke Island was fought on February 7-8, 1862. It was the beginning phase of Burnside's North Carolina Expedition. "On February 7, Brig. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside landed 7,500 men on the southwestern side of Roanoke Island in an amphibious operation launched from Fort Monroe. The next morning, supported by gunboats, the Federals assaulted the Confederate forts on the narrow waist of the island, driving back and out-maneuvering Brig. Gen. Henry Wise's outnumbered command. After losing less than 100 men, the Confederate commander on the field, Col. H.M. Shaw, surrendered about 2,500 soldiers and 32 guns. Burnside had secured an important outpost on the Atlantic Coast, tightening the blockade." (from CWSAC Battle Summaries, National Park Service.) The Union forces occupied the island for the remainder of the war.

Slaves living on the island at the time were classified as contraband. More slaves came to the island from the mainland. The Army developed the contraband camp into the Freedmen's Colony of Roanoke Island. By 1864, more than 2,200 freedmen lived there.

New York State troops involved in this engagement were: a detachment of the Marine Artillery, 9th Infantry (Hawkins's Zouaves), 51st Infantry and Company B, 99th Infantry.

Click on a column heading (2-4) to sort the table on that field. Click twice to sort in descending order.
Thumbnail Image Caption/Description Source of Illustration Publication Date
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration  showing the wreck of the steamer Pocahontas. The Burnside Expedition – The steamer Pocahontas, laden with horses for the expedition, wrecked off Hatteras Island, January 13 Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 15, 1862,
page [273]
1862-03-15
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing obstructions placed in the Croatan Sound to delay invaders. Obstructions placed by the Rebels in Croatan Sound – Sunken vessels and chevaux des frise Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 8, 1862,
page 252
1862-03-08
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing a fleet of Union ships passing through Croatan Sound. The Burnside Expedition – The national fleet steaming through Croatan Sound (February 7) Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 8, 1862,
page 241
1862-03-08
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing the fleet of Union ships. The Burnside Expedition – The national fleet passing through the marshes between Croatan and Pamlico sounds Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 8, 1862,
page 245
1862-03-08
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing the Rebel ship Curlew burning. The war on the ocean – Burning of the Rebel gunboat Curlew, off Fort Forrest, Croatan Sound, February 7 Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 22, 1862,
page 300
1862-03-22
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing Union troops landing on Roanoke Island. The Burnside Expedition – Landing of the national troops on Roanoke Island, under cover of the Union gunboats Delaware and Picket, Friday, February 7 Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 8, 1862,
page 245
1862-03-08
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration composed of four scenes from the Burnside Expedition. The Burnside Expedition at Hatteras Inlet [four images]: 1. Wreck of the Zouave in Hatteras Inlet; 2. Horses of Rhode Island Artillery disembarking; 3. Hotel deAfrique; 4. Fort Hatteras [in foreground], Ft. Clark in the distance. Harper's Weekly,
February 15, 1862,
page 101
1862-02-15
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing showing the explosion of a cannon on the gunboat Hetzel. Explosion of a Cannon on Board the Gunboat Hetzel, During the Engagement with Fort Bartow, Roanoke Island New York Illustrated News,
March 15, 1862,
page 297
1862-03-15
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing the interior of Fort Bartow during battle. Burnside Expedition – Interior of Fort Bartow during the bombardment by the national gunboats February 7 Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 8, 1862,
page 252
1862-03-08
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing the gunboat Ranger being towed. The Burnside Expedition – The tug Tempest getting the gunboat Ranger off a bank, and towing her out of the fire of Fort Bartow Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 8, 1862,
page 241
1862-03-08
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing the wreck of the ship City of New York. The Wreck of the City of New York of the Burnside Expedition, off Hatteras Inlet Carolina Harper's Weekly,
February 15, 1862,
pages 104-105
1862-02-15
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing the destruction of the Rebel fleet. Destruction of Commodore Lynch’s Fleet by the Union Gun-boats Harper's Weekly,
March 1, 1862,
page 136
1862-03-01
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration (Harper's) showing the charge of Hawkins' Zouaves. Gallant Charge of Hawkins's Zouaves Upon the Rebel Batteries of Roanoke Island Harper's Weekly,
March 1, 1862,
page 137
1862-03-01
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration (Leslie's) showing the bayonet charge of the Hawkins' Zouaves. The Burnside Expedition – The Battle of Roanoke Island, Saturday, February 8 – Decisive bayonet charge of the Ninth New York Volunteers, Hawkins’s Zouaves, on the three gun battery Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 8, 1862,
page 248-249
1862-03-08
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration of Lieutenant-Colonel de Monteil during the attack on Roanoke Island. The Burnside Expedition – The late Lieut.-Col. de Monteil of the D’Epineuil Zouaves, acting as a private in the 9th New York Regiment (Hawkins's Zouaves), in the attack on the three gun battery, Roanoke Island, February 8 Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 22, 1862,
page [289]
1862-03-22
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration of Colonel Rush Hawkins. Col. Rush Hawkins, commanding 9th New York Regiment, or "Hawkins's Zouaves" Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 22, 1862,
page 300
1862-03-22
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration of Major Kimball. Portrait of Maj. E.A. Kimball, leader of the successful bayonet charge of the Hawkins’s Zouaves on Fort Defiance, Roanoke Island Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 15, 1862,
page 261
1862-03-15
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing troop boats headed for landing. The Burnside Expedition – Attack on Roanoke Island by Commodore Louis M. Goldsborough's Gunboats, and Landing of Troops under Command of Generals John G. Foster, Jesse L. Reno and John G. Parke Parks New York Illustrated News,
March 1, 1862,
page 264-265
1862-03-01
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration composed of scenes showing four incidents from the Burnside Expedition. Incidents of the Burnside Expedition: 1. Loss of the steamer Pocahontas on Hatteras Island, and drowning of nearly a hundred horses; 2. Burying the bodies of Colonel [Joseph] Allen , Surgeon [Frederick] Weller and the second mate to their graves; 3. Total wreck of the screw steamer New York on Hatteras Island, January [sic] 13; 4. Melancholy death of Col. J.W. Allen, Surgeon Weller and the second mate of the Ann E. Thompson, on the 15th January, near Hatteras inlet. Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
February 15, 1862,
page [193]
1862-02-15
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing a group of sailors burning the ship York. A detachment of U.S. sailors from the gunboats Albatross and Gemsbok burning the contraband vessel York, mouth of Bogue Inlet, near Beaufort, N.C. Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
February 22, 1862,
page 220
1862-02-22
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing a general on board a ship giving orders during a storm. The Burnside Expedition – The fleet and transports off Hatteras during the storm - The General Giving Orders Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 1, 1862,
page [225]
1862-03-01
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration composed of seven scenes from the Burnside Expedition. The Burnside Expedition [Seven images]: 1. Exchanging 2nd N.C. Prisoners; 2. St. Paul’s Church, Edenton; 3. Shores of the Albemarle Sound; 4. Belvidere Fishery near Edenton, N.C.; 5. Exchanging Prisoners at Elizabeth C[it]y; 6. Landing Rebel Prisoners; 7. Elizabeth City, N.Y. Harper's Weekly,
March 15, 1862,
page 173
1862-03-15
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing soldiers camping in Fort Bartow after its capture. Bivouac the Night after the Battle – A Scene in Fort Bartow after the Capture of Roanoke Island. From a sketch by J. Bentley New York Illustrated News,
March 15, 1862,
page 308
1862-03-15
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing the naval battle nar Fortress Monroe. Scene of the Late Naval Fight and the Environs of Fortress Monroe, and Norfolk and Suffolk, Now Threatened by General Ambrose E. Burnside New York Illustrated News,
March 22, 1862,
page 317
1862-03-22
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing a dead man being carried ashore after the battle of Roanoke Island. Death of O. Jennings Wise – Bringing Him Ashore in a Blanket after the Battle of Roanoke Island New York Illustrated News,
March 15, 1862,
page 289
1862-03-15
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration after the Battle of Roanoke Island. Specimen of Southern Chivalry Found on Roanoke Island after the Battle New York Illustrated News,
March 15, 1862,
page 296
1862-03-15
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration of Brigadier-General Burnside. Portrait of Brigadier-General Ambrose E. Burnside Harper's Weekly,
March 1, 1862,
page 136
1862-03-01
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration (Harper's) of Flag-Officer Golsborough. Portrait of Flag-Officer Louis M. Goldsborough Harper's Weekly,
March 1, 1862,
page 136
1862-03-01
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration (Leslie's) of Flag Officer Goldsborough. Portrait of Flag Officer L.M. Goldsborough, commanding U.S. fleet in Pamlico and Albemarle sounds Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 1, 1862,
page 229
1862-03-01
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing a map of the theater of operations of the Burnside Expedition. General Map of Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, Showing the Theatre of Operations of the Burnside Expedition Harper's Weekly,
March 1, 1862,
page 134
1862-03-01
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration showing a map of Roanoke Island. Roanoke Island, Showing Position of Rebel Batteries, etc. Harper's Weekly,
March 1, 1862,
page 135
1862-03-01
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration of a map showing the coast of Virginia and North Carolina. Map of a Part of Virginia and North Carolina, from Fortress Monroe [to Wilmington], including Albemarle [and Pamlico] sound[s], and the inlets, rivers and railway approaches … Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
February 8, 1862,
page [182] and [187]
1862-02-08
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration of a map of Hatteras Inlet. Chart of Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina Harper's Weekly,
February 15, 1862,
page 103
1862-02-15
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration of a map of Roanoke Island, with Rebel forts indicated. Map of Roanoke Island and Croatan and Roanoke sounds, with the Rebel forts. Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 15, 1862,
page 267
267
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration of a silver trumpet presented to Captain Elbridge. Silver trumpet presented to Captain Elbridge of the U.S. transport Atlantic, by the officers of the 3rd New Hampshire Volunteers. Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
March 1, 1862,
page 229
1862-03-01
Thumbnail of a black-and-white magazine illustration from an advertisement for bullet-proof vests. Soldiers' Bullet Proof Vest (advertisement) Harper's Weekly,
March 15, 1862,
page 176
1862-03-15

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Last Updated: February 22, 2012