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Capture of Confederate Forts at the Hatteras Inlet

Lincoln's direction to blockade the Confederacy put an immense burden on the U.S. Navy, for there were almost 200 harbors and river openings along the 3,549 miles of coastline between the Potomac and the Rio Grande. To achieve this, a three-man board, comprised of officers from the Navy, as well as Army and Coast Survey, was set up to plan the strategy.

The first objective was the Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, an important avenue of access to the Atlantic for Southern blockade runners. The South had built two forts--Hatteras and Clark--on either side of the gap, and at the end of August a naval expedition under Silas H. Stringham sailed south from Hampton Roads to take these strategic fortifications.

On August 28th and 29th, Stringham, standing outside the range of the Confederate guns, was able to lob shells at the forts. Ben Butler's forces were landed just north, but by the time they arrived at the forts, the Confederates had surrendered.

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