“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Edenton in Chowan County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)


Battle of Albemarle Sound

Edenton Battle of Albemarle Sound image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 12, 2010
1. Edenton Battle of Albemarle Sound
Inscription. On May 5, 1864, the Confederate ironclad ram CSS Albemarle under Commander James W. Cooke, with gunboats Cotton Plant and Bombshell, steamed out of the Roanoke River into Bachelor's Bay and Albemarle Sound before you, bound for New Bern. Dead ahead, however, waited the U.S. Navy gunboats Ceres, Commodore Hull, and Whitehead, and the transport Ida May. Beyond lay the double-ended steamers Mattabesett, Sassacus, Wyalusing, and Miami. Union Capt. Melancton Smith, commanding the fleet, intended to sink Albemarle. After dispatching Cotton Plant upriver, Albemarle and Bombshell engaged the Federals off Chowan County's Sandy Point. During the three-hour battle, Bombshell sustained heavy damage and surrendered. Albemarle was rammed and almost sunk by Sassacus but fired point-blank into the steamer's boiler, disabling it. Albemarle then escaped upriver to Plymouth for repairs.

Divided Loyalties
Unionist sentiment was strong among eastern North Carolinians. The U.S. Navy presence in Albemarle sound began early in 1862, and many loyal men, both white and African American, enlisted. They included slaves and freedmen familiar with the Sound and its tributaries, who served as gunners, powder boys, cooks, and mechanics. Chowan County natives Henry Johnson, John Paxton, and Daniel Spruel sailed aboard Miami.

Other Edenton and Chowan County men joined local Confederate units, and many sympathizers moved father inland. Chowan County Confederates included Col. James K. Marshall, Lt. Col. John C. Badham, Maj. Tristim L. Skinner, Capt. William Badham, Jr., Capt. John A Benbury, Capt. Edward A. Small, Lt. John M Jones, and Lt. Blake B Hoskins. Edenton residents donated household, school, church, and courthouse bells to cast four bronze cannons for Capt. Badham's Edenton "Bell Battery," Co. B, North Carolina Light artillery Battalion.
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 36° 3.347′ N, 76° 36.59′ W. Marker is in Edenton, North Carolina, in Chowan County. Marker is on Broad Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located on the waterfront at the end of Broad Street. Marker is in this post office area: Edenton NC 27932, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Edenton Bell Battery C.S.A. (a few steps from this marker); Escape Via Maritime Underground Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Our Confederate Dead (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Roanoke River Lighthouse (about 400 feet away); Bought in France for N.C. (about 600 feet away); Francis Corbin (approx. 0.3 miles away); Edenton Tea Party (approx. 0.3 miles away); James Iredell, Jr (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Edenton.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia CSS Albemarle. CSS Albemarle was an ironclad ram of the Confederate Navy (and later the second Albemarle of the United States Navy), named for a town and a sound in North Carolina and a county in Virginia. All three locations were named for General George Monck, the first Duke of Albemarle and one of the original Carolina Lords Proprietors. (Submitted on August 24, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.) 

2. Wikipedia Melancton Smith 1810-1893. Smith was senior naval officer of a small fleet in Albemarle Sound where he attacked the Confederate ram CSS Albemarle at the Battle of Albemarle Sound in May 1864. (Submitted on August 24, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.) 

3. The Battle of Albemarle Sound. The Battle of Albemarle Sound was an inconclusive naval battle along the coast of North Carolina during the American Civil War. Three Confederate States Navy warships, including an ironclad, engaged eight United States Navy gunboats. The action ended indecisively due to the sunset. (Submitted on August 24, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.) 
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 987 times since then and 91 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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