Burnsides Troops Occupy Roanoke Island


Federal soldiers watch over Confederate prisoners in Camp Georgia after the battle. From The London Illustrated News March 29,1862

Lynch's "Mosquito Fleet"  of seven boats meets fourteen Federal gunboats in the Pasquotank River just south of Elizabeth City, N.C. on February 10,1862 After a short engagement, one of the rebel boats is captured, another escapes and the rest are sunk.

The Battle of Elizabeth City


Confederate enlisted prisoners occupy their former barracks while the officers are held aboard ship. They are all paroled at Elizabeth City on February 20,1862.

 Roanoke Island is now used as a base of operations for expeditions by boat into the interior of north eastern North Carolina. Winton, located on the Chowan River, was burned on February 19th in an attempt to destroy railroad bridges further up river. An expedition to Columbia to break up a Confederate recruiting camp resulted in the seizure of some antiquated weapons. A foray up the Alligator River captured the 50 ton schooner Cornelia Dunkirk.

Union soldiers improve the roads on the island, string telegraph wires and build a wharf at Pork Point. The forts are repaired, upgraded and renamed. Forts Huger, Blanchard and Bartow become Reno, Parke and Foster respectively.  


Primitive drawing of Camp Foster as sketched by a soldier in the 23rd Massachusetts

A sketch of the Camp of the 21st Massachusetts on Roanoke Island

The sketches of the two Massachusetts camps look very similar. They are probably both Camp Foster as the top sketch indicates. They bear a striking resemblance to Camp Georgia. I believe that they are all one and the same and that the camp eventually became the nucleus of the Freedmen's Colony.


A real photo postcard from 1905 showing Burnsides Headquarters on Roanoke Island. The house site, located on the western side of the island north of Fort Bartow is now under water.

 With Roanoke Island secure, and no resistance from a Confederate navy, Burnside  begins boarding troops on March 3, 1862 for his next objective, New Bern.