Garrisoned for the War
When Burnside sailed for Newbern he left three regiments on the island. The 9th New York Hawkins Zouaves, 89th New York and the 6th New Hampshire. The regiments stayed for five months, leaving only once to participate in the battle of Camden Court House at South Mills, North Carolina.
Shortly after Union forces occupied the island, escaped slaves started arriving seeking protection from the Federal Army. They found refuge on Roanoke Island. A Freedmen's Colony was established and supported by northern benevolent organizations and in part by the Federal Government. A continuous flow of black refugees would come and go from the island until 1867 For more information about the Freedmen's Colony please visit:
Never again threatened, Roanoke Island would become a backwater of the war. Troops would continue to man the forts on the island, occasionally firing the cannons in practice. The island was used as a coaling station for gunboats that operated in the sounds of Eastern North Carolina. Furloughed soldiers came here for rest and relaxation. In late1865 the 30th U.S. Colored Infantry dismantled the forts while stationed here. After the secession of hostilities, and the ultimate failure of the Freedmen's Colony, the island reverted back to its former peaceful existence.
Letter written by the Lieutenant Colonel of the 30th U.S. Colored Infantry concerning discipline within the regiment.