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Fort Clark and the Bombardment of Fort Hatteras Historical Marker

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()


Confederate soldiers and enslaved laborers constructed Fort Clark and Fort Hatteras at the start of the Civil War to protect Hatteras Inlet, a key strategic route for shipping. Recognizing the importance of controlling this waterway, the Union wasted little time in assembling a force to dislodge the Confederate defenders of these forts. The Battle of Hatteras Island took place on August of 1861. The Union's ships had longer range guns than the Confederate battery at Fort Clark and the men their quickly abandoned their posts for the relative safety of Fort Hatteras. That fort soon fell as well as the Union guns provided a constant shelling and the 700 Confederates surrendered. With the Confederacy losing this battle, their efforts to keep a tight hold on the rest of the South proved to be difficult. The battle also marked the first deployment of black servicemen to take place in an attack against the Confederacy during the Civil War as the Union navy enlisted black men while the Union army excluded black men until 1863.

Hatteras Inlet
Fort Hatteras historical marker
A photo of the monument commemorating Fort Clark and Fort Hatteras by Mike Wintermantel.


The Hatteras Inlet is located between Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island and it was at this site where Fort Clark and Fort Hatteras were constructed once North Carolina joined the Confederacy in 1861. These forts, constructed largely by enslaved men, were strategically important as the Confederacy wanted to control the Pamlico Sound. After Confederates stationed in the area seized Northern merchant ships, the Union navy planned an attack and captured the forts after an unconditional surrender was agreed upon by both parties.


The Civil War on the Outer Banks. National Park Service. Accessed October 12, 2017.

Civil War Battlefields and Sites. Civil War Traveler. Accessed October 12, 2017.

Pullen, Drew. Civil War on Hatteras Island. 2002. Accessed October 12, 2017.

Museum Dr
Hatteras, North Carolina 27943
  • African American History
  • Colonial History
  • Cultural History
  • Military History
  • Maritime and Naval History
This location was created on 2017-10-12 by Cassandra Mathley .   It was last updated on 2017-12-17 by Clio Admin .

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