Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal

Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal (HM12M4)

Location: Coinjock, NC 27923 Currituck County
Country: United States of America

N 36° 20.834', W 75° 57.05'

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Military Supply Route

After the Battle of Elizabeth City and the destruction of the Confederate Mosquito Fleet in February 1862, the Confederates scuttled ships to block the North Carolina cut. The Federals had the same idea to stall Confederate traffic and sent five vessels to the North River "with prize schooners in tow to obstruct the Chesapeake and Albemarle Canal," only to find that their adversaries had already begun the task. After the Union occupation of Norfolk, the removal of the obstructions became a Federal priority. With southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina largely in Federal hands, the canal reopened to patrol and supply duties until the end of the war.

The Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal opened in 1859, just before the Civil War began. It consisted of two "cuts" or locks: the first, in Virginia, linked the Elizabeth and North Landing Rivers south of Norfolk; the second, in North Carolina, joined Currituck Sound with the North River. Vessels could sail to and from Norfolk and Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. Ships carried supplies via the canal to build Confederate Forts Hatteras and Clark on the Outer Banks. Between August 1861 and January 1862 more than 200 military vessels passed through the canal. Commodore W.F. Lynch wrote to Confederate Secretary of the Navy Stephen R. Mallory, [W]ithout the use the canal, upplies from, and imperatively requisite repairs at[,] Gosport navy-yard [Norfolk] could not have been received or effected."

On May 16, 1863 thirty Confederate partisans from Pasquotank County jumped from the nearby Coinjock Bridge onto the side-wheel steamer Arrow and captured the crew then steered the vessel alongside the steamer Emily as if nothing had happened. The partisans took both ships, flying the Stars and Stripes up Albemarle Sound, Chowan River, and Blackwater River to Franklin, Va. En route, they picked up five African Americans who hailed them not knowing the crews were Confederates The exploit made headlines in the North Carolina newspapers.

U.S. Congressman George W. Julian of Indiana, a Republican member of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, took the mail boat Fawn to Roanoke Island to find out whether sutlers there were price-gouging the soldiers to whom they sold goods. On February 9,1864, on the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, Confederates attacked the ship, killed or wounded 7 people, captured 29 passengers including Julian, and burned the Fawn. Julian was soon released at Elizabeth City and continued to Roanoke Island.
HM NumberHM12M4
Placed ByNorth Carolina Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 5:13am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 414679 N 4022882
Decimal Degrees36.34723333, -75.95083333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 20.834', W 75° 57.05'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 20' 50.04" N, 75° 57' 3.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)252
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 132 Coinjock Canal Rd, Coinjock NC 27923, US
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