Hatteras in Dare County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Flagship USS Minnesota/Hotel de Afrique
Erected by Dare County Tourism Board.
Location. 35° 12.362′ N, 75° 42.276′ W. Marker is in Hatteras, North Carolina, in Dare County. Marker can be reached from Museum Drive 0.2 miles west of Coast Guard Drive. Touch for map. Located at sidewalk entrance near parking lot at Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. Part of the Hatteras Village Guided Tour. Marker is in this post office area: Hatteras NC 27943, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Maritime Casualties of the American Civil War/Loss of the USS Monitor (a few steps from this marker); Fort Clark/The Bombardment of Fort Hatteras (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Burnside's Expedition Crossing Hatteras Bar/The Burnside Expedition at Hatteras Inlet Confederate Forts (approx. 0.2 miles away); America's 1st Attempt at Civil War Reunification (approx. 1.3 miles away); Mitchell Demonstrates Air Power (approx. 5 miles away); Paukenschlag (approx. 10.1 miles away); Life at the Light (approx. 10.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hatteras.
On Thursday August 25, 2011 there was a dedication of a Civil War Historic Marker at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in honor of “Hotel De Afrique”, supposedly the first safe haven for runaway slaves in the North Carolina as stated on the memorial.
On closer examination, neither the Carolina Country article or the marker gave a true account of actually events. Even the New York Times of January 29, 1862 reported that the fugitives were “very expert boatmen, and are very useful (to Northern troops) in pulling about the inlet and working along the shore.” The article gave the impression that Northern troops and run away slaves lived in harmony.
According to regiment reports, on March 11, 1962 Colonel James Nagle sent six companies to reinforce Ambrose Burnside and board the steamer George Peabody. The steamer was aground and the men found themselves inundated with whiskey dealers who were crowding the waterways. Many of the soldiers got drunk and soon fighting broke out among the regiment. However, around midnight, some of the men from Company C broke into the “Hotel De Afrique” and savagely attacked the former slaves. The soldiers attacked the referees with bayonets and Knives cutting several very severely. “Old Gallaway (Colonel Nagle’s) Coulered servant, having bin in for the night, received a Cut in the stomach which will undoubtedly prove fatal. A Contraband had a finger Cut off, the sinew of his left hand Cut” (Captain James Wren’s Civil War Diary, Berkeley Books, 1990).
Gallaway died and the regiment received only a slight reprimand. The murderer or murderers were
In conclusion, the article by Michael E.C. Gery, writer and editor for Carolina Country, and the researchers for the NC Historical Marker demonstrates that both took the February 15, 1862 Harper’s Weekly statement that Hotel De Afrique was the “first safe haven” for runaway slaves on face value. Perhaps they were safe from Ole master, but not safe from the drunken murderous Northern Army.
— Submitted September 3, 2012, by Edd Charlton of Wadesboro, North Carolina.
Categories. • African Americans • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 18, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 862 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on August 18, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 2. submitted on August 21, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 3. submitted on August 18, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 4. submitted on August 21, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.